Jobu wonders about Curtis Granderson’s future with the Yankees.
I know, I know… one post season does not a player make, especially when the player is just one of about five or six guys who aren’t performing up to snuff. I realize that the 84 home runs Granderson has hit the last two seasons (and 108 over the last three) are damn near impossible to replace from a center fielder. There is, however, a precedent for a power hitter playing a non-power hitting position being dumped after one horrible post season in New York, and I think Granderson might have that same scenario go down if he doesn’t pick it up in these playofffs.
I think we all remember Alfonso Soriano’s Yankees tenure. He was a power hitting, base stealing, limousine ridden’, private jet flying’ wheeling dealing son of a gun!… er, or something like that. Soriano was brilliant for this team, nearly winning them the 2001 World Series with a home run off of Curt Schilling in the eighth inning of game seven. Just two years later, after consecutive 30/30 seasons, he was gone, and the 2003 post season played a part in that. Sure, he was traded as part of a package deal for Alex Rodríguez, but if he had hit six or seven home runs in the playoffs that season and been a big hero, would he have been dealt?
We’ll never know, because Soriano didn’t hit well. In fact, he became the easiest guy to pitch to in that Yankees lineup. After a solid ALDS, Soriano disappeared completely. He hit .133 in the ALCS with 11 Ks in 30 at bats, and .227 with 9 Ks in 22 World Series at bats. That’s 20 Ks in 52 at bats. It seemed like every pitch was a slider away, and he swung and missed at them all. When A-Rod became available, the Yankees didn’t hesitate to make the move.
Sound familiar? So far during this post season, Granderson is 3-26 with 14 Ks. 14! Most of those Ks (although I don’t have an exact number) have been on breaking balls or fastballs in the dirt. He has taken some of the worst swings I’ve ever seen in these playoffs. Seriously… if we could somehow gather all the wind he’s generated these playoffs, we’d be able to power the Stadium for the rest of the playoffs.
Also, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but Granderson was significantly worse than he was last season. Yes, the 43 home runs were a career high. Yes, he topped 100 runs and 100 RBI for the second straight season. The problem is that he hit .a career low .232 and struck out a career high 195 times. 195! If i just read you these stats without putting a name to them, you’d think I was talking about Adam Dunn, right?
Granderson is a free agent after next season, and the Yankees have some very interesting decisions to make. Basically, they can really only afford to bring back him or Canó if they intend to stick to their plan of allegedly lowering payroll to $189MM by 2014. That’s a fact. They’re going to have to let some people go… or trade them. As a Yankees fan playing owner, I would trade Granderson in a second if it meant somehow getting a comparable and younger/cheaper player. I don’t think it’s too far fetched that a package of Granderson and a prospect or two could bring back a pretty special return. The Tigers traded Granderson following a season in which many thought he was on his way to being a platoon player, and they ended up with Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer in the deal (it was a three team deal with the D-Backs, if you recall).
If the Yankees aren’t planning on re-signing Granderson, they should really try to trade him this off-season… or at least at the deadline. Despite a down year with average, and expiring contract, I think he has a lot of trade value to another contender. If the Yankees do trade him, hopefully it’s to the National League, but I think they’d be stupid not to explore deals for him.
Featured image courtesy of: Elsa/Getty Images
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