For the first time in his career as a general manager, Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees is dealing with budgetary constraints. The Yankees happen to employ a center fielder who is due $15 million in 2013, the final year of his contract. But would Cashman consider trading Curtis Granderson? Apparently so.
NYY have been open to talks about Curtis Granderson. If they move his $15m salary, it would provide more flexibility to do other things.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 4, 2012
Immediately, you might look at Granderson’s 43 home runs last season, or his 41 the year b efore, and assume the Yankees have gone crazy, but Granderson seems to have deteriorated as a player apart from those Yankee Stadium-aided home run totals.
He’ll be 32 years old before Opening Day and defensive metrics have been very unkind to his play in centerfield over the past few years. Additionally, Granderson took a big step backward in terms of plate approach in 2012. Strikeouts have always been a problem for him, and last season was no exception.
The center field market is no longer flush with teams that have openings and Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn still need jobs. But if a club like the Phillies doesn’t like the potential of a five or six year commitment with Bourn, Granderson for a year could be a reasonable alternative. He would also fit with Seattle, who could play him on one of the corners and have some of the additional offense they’ve been seeking.
Granderson no longer offers much in the way of base stealing, but still runs well. His approach at the plate has come under fire as he’s realized his power potential, though if he were to play in another park he may be less puss conscious. As of now though, Granderson is spiraling toward becoming an all or nothing hitter who offers negative value on defense. He’s Adam Dunn with better speed.