I am of a different opinion than my esteemed Colleague Genevose. I think the Granderson trade isnt all that bad. I will admit at first I thought that the Yankees were giving up to many pieces, But I think that was more me overvaluing these pieces to begin with. Lets first look at what we lost.
Ian Kennedy- Yes he was a number one draft pick and he has had good control. None of which has shown to be anything except inadequate at the major league level. Every time he has had a shot he ahas fallen flat on his face. At the same time he seems to be to good for the minors.
Phil Coke- A decent lefty reliever. That could get out a big lefty and at times give you a couple of innings. He wasn’t overpowering by any means, he was kinda streaky hot and cold. Its not like he was going to be a closer or anything. So what you have lost is a mediocre lefty. Then the other significant piece was Austin Jackson. The key word when you talk about Jackson is “POTENTIAL” meaning unproven, untested and well you get the picture. Jackson is certainly a talented five tool player who has not shown a power stroke and strikes out a bunch. He was very good in the Minors but that doesn’t mean he will be good in the majors. (see:Ian Kennedy). So what did the Yankees really give up? Not that much proven talent and some potential.
What did the Yankees get in return.
A 28 year old Left handed bat that hits for power and was an all-star in 2009. He had a career year in HR with 30 but has hit 20 or more in the past three seasons. In five years he has 25 assists and a fielding % of .993. I think that everyone is dwelling to much on the fact that Granderson has struggled against left handed pitching. Most teams don’t have multiple lefties in their rotation and usually only one in the pen if any. With this in mind you have to believe that 70 to 80 % of the time he will not be facing a lefty and may force other teams to use their left handed bull pen pitchers at times they may not want to. He is a defensive upgrade over Cabrera and Gardner (who are both good fielders) and he can hit for power. Which Gardner can not and Cabrera is so so . This will become especially important with what look like the loss of Matsui. Matsui accounted for a bunch of RBI’s and HR that you probably couldn’t replace without a guy like Granderson.
Another plus is that we still have the players in place to make a run at Roy Halladay. This trade also gives the Yankees Leverage when dealing with a new contract for Damon. Damon has let it be known that he would prefer to stay in NY. Now it would appear that the Yankees don’t need him as badly as they did. I still think that a deal will get done but I would hope that the Yankees would go no more than one or two years. I can see the Yankees outfield shaping up nicely with Granderson, Cabrera,Gardner,Swisher and Damon. Looks like a good combination of defense,speed and power if you ask me. Definitely an upgrade over last season.
I think the Yankees will now focus on the Rotation, starting with Pettitte. Then perhaps a little bull pen work, however I suspect that may be taken care of from within. All and all a busy day for the Yanks dont expect it to be like this every day but im sure its not the last move to be made.