According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Tigers have made it known that outfielder Curtis Granderson is available for trade if the right package were to come along and, as Sherman notes, the Yankees would probably love a good, young, center fielder.
Brian Cashman met with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski at the now-concluded GM Meetings, but it is not believed the two did any more than discuss needs and available players. However, the two have a good relationship and have done significant trades before, going back to when Dombrowski was in Florida and obtained Mike Lowell from the Yanks to the more recent Gary Sheffield deal and the swap of Kyle Farnsworth for Ivan Rodriguez.
The Yankees have a touted center field prospect in Austin Jackson, who could be the centerpiece for a deal, though Detroit would have a market outside of just The Bronx.
Granderson, who will play at 29 next year, is owed $25.75 million over the next three years and has an option in 2013. He is not a player that Detroit truly wants to trade and neither is the available Edwin Jackson, another player who will draw interest not just from the Yankees, but the Mets, too.
But the Tigers are supporting a top payroll in one of the cities hit hardest by the economic downturn, and they have many long-term commitments to players who are just about untradeable, including Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson. In all, the Tigers have 10 players under control for next season at $100 million with arbitration-eligible ace Justin Verlander due a raise to about $7 million, and Jackson and Gerald Laird also in line for big raises.
I really don’t like the idea of trading Austin Jackson, but this story is very intriguing and it seems like something that, even if it works out, will take forever to unfold.
First of all, Granderson is a very good talent, he’s been a .300 hitter, has hit 30 home runs, has hit 23 triples, he once stole 26 bases in 27 attempts, he walks a lot, and plays great defense at a premium position. So it’s safe to say that even though Detroit wants to get rid of some payroll, this will not be a salary-dump so it’s safe to say that this trade only starts with Jackson.
But when you think that maybe Edwin Jackson could be involved in the deal too the cranks start turning. At first though it seems like stuff that only happens on X-Box, but the Yankees could possibly flex some of their financial muscle when it comes to some of those “untradeable” contracts.
At this point it doesn’t seem like any deal is even close to imminent, but like I said, if something like this does go down, it’s going to take a while as there certainly will be a lot of haggling and probably a lot of players involved as well.
One final note that Sherman left us with, Granderson, a left handed hitter, hit 30 home runs last season. That is good for 4th best among lefties in the AL. What do you think the short porch in right field could do for that?