Dec 7, 2009, 7:54 PM EDT
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Yankees’ talks with the Tigers regarding Curtis Granderson didn’t go very far, apparently because Detroit wanted both Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson in return for their center fielder.
Jackson would be an obvious choice to go in a Granderson deal, since the Yankees would be getting back an outfielder to plug into center field for at least a few years. Jackson could then become the Tigers’ center fielder of the future. He’s probably not ready just yet, but he might be by midseason.
Hughes, though, is too much to give up along with Jackson. There’s still plenty to like about Granderson, but it may be that he peaked in 2007. His OPS has slipped from 913 to 858 to 780 since, and his defense, which was one Gold Glove quality, now rates pretty average, according to UZR.
Granderson is a big asset against right-handers, and since he’s entering his age-29 season, there’s little reason to think that will change anytime soon. However, he’s not an annual All-Star. If the Yankees have to give up Jackson for him, they’re not going to part with Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero as well. They might not even be willing to give up one of the four. Free agent Mike Cameron is nearly as good of a bet as Granderson for 2010, and he wouldn’t even cost the team a draft pick.
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