On the day news broke about the Curtis Granderson trade, I emailed Bill Ferris. I’ve never met Bill, but he runs a terrific Tigers blog and I wanted his perspective on the deal. He had already written a great post about his emotional response to the trade, and I thought his perspective could be welcome here at LoHud.
Bill agreed and wrote 350 words that I planned to post during the Winter Meetings. But then the Yankees signed Andy Pettitte. Then Brian Cashman made the trade official. Then Cashman finally talked about it. Then Granderson talked. Then the Yankees took an outfielder in the Rule 5. Basically, Bill had to wait, but here’s his take. It’s a great fan perspective on a new Yankee.
With a player as popular as Curtis Granderson there is always going to be a strong emotional response. I have certainly been hit by that response. Granderson’s popularity comes not only from his on field accomplishments but from his total package. He is a model citizen who went out of his way to establish himself in the community starting the Grand Kids Foundation which promotes education in Detroit and Flint.
One of the other things about Granderson is that he’s a smart guy and a hard worker. He’s been described as very coachable, and when there is a deficiency in his game he works hard to resolve it and is usually successful. He also does all those little things that fans love. He never takes a play off, he never gets down or complains. He’ll likely excel in Yankee Stadium and seeing him put up 40 homers wouldn’t surprise me at all (most of Granderson’s homers came on the road last year).
The last thing that elicits this emotional response is that Granderson was part of the core of players that helped make baseball relevant again in Detroit after a decade of just awfulness.
With such a strong emotional response many fans won’t even want to consider what the Tigers got back which is a shame. The Tigers got a nice package of players and I feel like the Tigers did OK with the deal. Still, even with all the big deals that Dave Dombrowski has pulled in this town, his legacy will likely be tied to this one if it doesn’t work out for the Tigers. Fans will moan every time they see a Granderson highlight on SportsCenter and think of what could have been.
Granderson does have some limitation. His arm is probably his weakest tool and he has regressed in terms of his ability to hit lefties. I do think a new hitting coach will help him resolve some of those issues. Despite the home runs last year, many considered it a down year as his batting average and OBP were dragged down by a low BABIP.
Also, check out Joe Posnanski’s take on the Granderson trade. Posnanski might be my favorite writer — not just baseball writer, I enjoy reading him more than I enjoy reading Mark Twain – and he’s at his best when writing about baseball. Spoiler alert, he loves the deal for the Yankees.