Why the Granderson take down?

Lynn Henning was ahead of the curve on the Curtis Granderson trade front. He started beating the drum for a Granderson trade in October. It’s  something that I never would have seen coming. So kudos to Henning and his crystal ball. But why in the aftermath of the trade has he become so completely anti-Granderson and such a staunch supporter of all things Tigers?

On October 20th Henning wrote:

They will trade Curtis Granderson for two players. I cannot shake a personal belief that dealing Granderson is their only way out of heading into 2010 with zero chance to win the division.

While I disagree that keeping Granderson would have prevented them from winning the division, the accuracy is remarkable here. Henning would go on to say that the Tigers would use the trade to pick up a bullpen arm and a position prospect. He guessed on shortstop as the position, but pretty uncanny.

Henning continued the theme into November blogging about the possibility of a trade and this time saying it wasn’t about the finances, but that it was a means to get younger players in position to help the team.

As the winter meetings approached and other baseball executives were told that the Tigers were shopping Granderson, Henning picked up steam putting the odds at 80%. Other writers thought that the Tigers were asking for such a steep price for Granderson that he likely wouldn’t be on the move with Peter Gammons saying that the price was Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson. Only Henning and USA Today writer Bob Nightengale saw the burning desire for the Tigers to move Granderson.

They added young arms and now have arguably the best pitching, big leagues to the minors, of any organization in baseball.
Lynn Henning

When the trade went down Henning penned a number of articles talking about how Dombrowski is building an enduring roster. He was cautioning fans to not judge the trade by 2010 and to get use to a payroll two-thirds of what the Tigers have maintained. Henning was effusive in his praise for the new Tigers and spoke of how the team will now be competitive for the next decade.

If Henning wants to sound like a member of the Tigers PR department, that’s fine. And if he’s celebrating conjuring up this trade that seemed farfetched in October but came to fruition in December, no problem. What I have issue with is the negative Granderson articles that he has come out with since the trade.

There was the section of a recent article called The Downside of Grand which listed  his salary figures for the remainder of the contract ($25.5 million). It also listed his batting average against left handers each of the last 4 years. The article also selectively listed his less poor September and October batting averages each of the last 2 years.

My rebuttal is that even in Granderson’s “down year” he was valued as a $15.3 million player and over the last 4 years he’s been worth $79.8 million with his lowest year coming in 2006 when he was valued a $14.6 million. He won’t make more than $10 million in any year during his contract unless a club option for $13 million is picked up in 2013. With regard to hitting lefties, he has a .894 career OPS against righties – who he faces in 76% of his plate appearances. As for late season fades, he has a .797 career OPS in September/October.

Selective stat picking isn’t a crime. I’ve done it here to make points as well, though I do try and present a complete picture as often as possible. I’m more troubled by articles like Granderson was beloved but on the decline.

Here Henning uses phrases like “fell from grace” and he spoke of “building tension in the clubhouse.” He essentially threw the Tigers offensive struggles all on the shoulders of Granderson.

Granderson, even as he hit 30 home runs, came to embody the Tigers’ sputtering, sprint-and-slip offense. The supposed ignition switch often became a drag on a batting order that seemed to deflate or inflate based on what Granderson was doing.

That an offense with Adam Everett, Gerald Laird, and Brandon Inge composing a third of the lineup and one that saw Clete Thomas batting third far too often deflated based on Granderson’s performance is ludicrous. Is Henning really blaming all the offense’s struggles on Granderson here? Is Granderson supposed to ignite Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Aubrey Huff, Marcus Thames and every other hitter?

But it gets better. Henning also blamed Granderson for doing too much for the community.

If it were just a matter of having an off season, the Tigers might have lived with it. But it goes deeper than that. Granderson has been spread too thin in Detroit. In that respect, his charm is also his curse.


One must be careful about making criticisms here. But this feeling has been deep for a very long time, mostly because Granderson, for all his decency, on too many days appeared to be putting in more of a work shift than concentrating adequately on a game that must be played with consummate passion and attention.

That Granderson did fewer outside appearances in 2009 than he did in his quad-20 2007 season didn’t seem to deter Henning from questioning his commitment to the Tigers. Granderson’s work ethic has never before been questioned, and it shouldn’t be now either. Henning failed to note the extra work that Granderson would put in, such as making the trek to Toledo on several occasions to get in extra hitting work with Mud Hens coach Bull Durham.

It’s hard to argue with Granderson’s batting average last year (though a deeper dive would tell you it isn’t a reason to be concerned) or his struggles with left handed pitching. Those are facts and a matter of record. However, criticizing his commitment to baseball or his passion for the game is out of bounds – and to do it in the context of his giving back to the community  – is itself worthy of criticism.

In too many people’s rush to look at all the things Granderson can’t do (mediocre arm, strikes out too much, can’t hit lefties) they have forgotten the things that he can do. He hits for power, works the count, takes walks, runs the bases, and plays above average defense and he does it all for a contract that is a relative bargain. Maybe that’s why Brian Cashman wanted him so much.

55 thoughts on “Why the Granderson take down?”

  1. Granderson has a .780 OPS. He is not a good hitter from both sides of the plate. His defense was horrific in the last week of the season – where we needed him to the ball.

    But at the same time, I think Lynn Henning is only saying what he’s saying because the trade was such a big haul. If Dave Dombrowski pulled a Bill Bavasi and traded Grandy for one or two years of a decent pitcher, then Henning would be calling Granderson a superstar and would be anti-Dombrowski.

  2. Many questioned whether Curtis was in the game or to focused with outside activities the last year. That criticism did not come from nowhere.

    I’m rather shocked to see your piece as I think that Lynn has been one of the few writers in town to view this trade with a clear view. One untainted by emotions.

    1. I agree, I’m sure when he was saying CG should be traded and there were payroll and young talent concerns, nobody suggested he was doing PR for the Tigers. They were probably wondering why he was being such a negative nancy.

      Regarding CG’s value…..4 WAR can easily become 3 WAR in 2011 and beyond if you allow him to regress even a little with age. Depending on what you value a win at (and it’s been going down and down) the only year that seems a bargain really is 2010. For that and Jackson (who I defended strongly at this time last year but was thrilled to see the team ‘sell high’ on) you get 4 players who almost by definition have to be bargains for the next 4-5 years. A couple of whom have high ceilings and all who have relatively high floors as well.

      The future of this team is seemingly going to be built on young pitching and payrolls significantly below $100M…..deals like this are how you have success doing that.

  3. I agree Henning has been way too negative of Granderson. I’m become used to to some writers cherry picking statistics to back their points but ripping into Granderson’s character was uncalled for. By all accounts other than Henning, Granderson has a passion for the game and a strong work ethic. It seems as if Henning went out of his way to make Granderson look bad by attacking the one thing that so many fans like about him. I wonder why?

  4. It does make one wonder, but many other writer’s and blogs have commented about Grandy’s activities outside the ball field. Perhaps his motivation was being questioned? Personally, I think Grandy is exactly where he wants to be.

  5. My question back is who were the many that questioned his focus and commitment and when did that start? I never heard it questioned until Henning did it around the All Star break.

    Why did nobody question his focus and commitment in 2007 when he was doing more school appearances, more media, and he was blogging 3 times a week for ESPN instead of once a week for Yahoo?

    1. I’m not talking about professional bloggers or sportwriters, billfer. But I have read many comments from fans talking about “how busy” he was all the time. My personal observation and opinion is Grandy is just being Grandy. He can’t be any other way. He’s just a very driven person.

  6. Just to nitpick a bit, the stat about righthanders: “he faces in 76% of his plate appearances” seems like selective stat picking too…

    The implication here, that Henning is being fed info in exchange for favorable coverage, seems very plausible. If thats the case, it makes you wonder if the coverage reflects the true opinion of the braintrust or just some damage control for a trade the fanbase doesn’t like.

    Personally, I buy into the “player in decline” notion, or at least player who has plateaued, although theres a good chance hitting in that lineup won’t make it look like it. I agree that questioning Granderson’s commitment crosses a line of professionalism. Good job calling it out Billfer.

    1. Mat, I think there is a very good chance, the Tigers front office fed the story to Henning as damage control – negativity and all. He knew a little too much and pumped up the organization too much for it to be just a guess.


  7. I know that it was a topic of conversation on WXYT a few times as I drove home from work. I’m not sure if I read it somewhere, but Lynn Hennings comments were certainly not the first I heard Granderson’s outside activities brought up as a potential solution.

    As for your second question, It’s not about questioning his commitment to the Tigers. I don’t care about his commitment, but in 2007 he got his job done and he did not in 2009. As long as he’s getting his work done he can do whatever he wants as far as I’m concerned. It’s certainly a fair question as to whether outside activities could interfere.

  8. I think certain people (fans) may have started questioning Granderson when he was doing all the TV things. It’s just natural. Obviously nobody is going to complain or really bring it up until the guy struggles. That’s just basic human logic.

    I have no problem with it. Good for him, although I would assume, that like any player coming off a sub-standard season, he will re-evaluate things and come into 2010 as read as ever.

  9. Throwing Granderson under the bus for the team’s struggles is beyond absurd. He struggled terribly against lefties, I get that. What I don’t get is why, for half the season, he was hitting in front of a completely lost Polanco and a roulette of Leyland idiocy in the 3-hole. Heck, this team would have done a lot better if they had used Granderson’s power to more effect – further down in the order. All this deconstruction of a good Tiger on his way out the door (and questioning CG’s work ethic and devotion, what?) smacks of a man who has forgotten the best of the game and life. Look in the mirror, Lynn.

    Right on, Billfer.

  10. At first take, I actually wrote “Here, here!” Then I stopped and thought about my past post on Henning. Are these his feelings or Is he telling us what he heard coming out of the mouths of Tiger Management? Behind closed doors I’m sure lots of absurd things have been uttered about many players.

    I’m going to have to stop reading Henning completely now or I’m going to drive myself nuts with this line of thinking.

  11. I don’t see what Henning has said as any sort of character assasination. So the man questions Granderson’s committment to baseball in a year where his outside committments increased and his on the field performance decreased? There’s nothing wrong with that.

    I still get the feeling that many (most) in the tigers’ blogging community have a personal tie to Granderson and are upset that he’s leaving. That’s fine, but don’t take that out on Lynn Henning. There’s nothing untoward about what Henning has written about Granderson. It could very well be that he is stretching himself too thin and that has had an effect on his baseball.

    Given Henning’s apparent closeness to the Tigers’ brass, I would give his word a lot more credit than the “it’s an uncalled for character assasination” that you’re giving it.

    1. Lots of players have commitments off the field. Grandy’s just happened to be higher-profile. When other players have off years, I don’t see articles talking about how they’re spending too much time with their family or friends. This just seems like a convenient thing to speculate about, and reeks of a guy telling all of his friends that the girlfriend he just broke up with wasn’t really that cute, anyway.

  12. It doesn’t add up that Henning would be launching some kind of personal attack against Curtis Granderson.

    There must be more than meets the eye. I just don’t buy it that Henning is making all this up because he hates Curtis.

    1. And to clarify, I haven’t viewed Henning is a bad guy. I disagree with him lots of times, but he’s always been thoughtful in his responses. In addition, he wrote some beautiful stuff in response to the VT shootings regarding Brian Bluhm. I just don’t understand the attacks at this point.

  13. The Tigers failed to make the playoffs while the core of the team was in the late part of their prime. The next window is probably not for a couple more years when Porcello, Crosby and Scherzer have a couple years under their belts. At that point Granderson would be on his way down and making more money than he is worth just like Guillen and Ordonez are right now.

    The one thing I would have liked to be different was that they atleast get a Shortstop out of this deal. Outfielders seem to be the one position we have no trouble developing.

    And Henning is a MSU fan, so the negativity is to be expected..

  14. The Tigers are learning from the Pistons – this is classic Piston MO. Right down to the bought and paid for newspaper man disseminating the smear. The Tigs front office throws Henning a bone so he can scoop all the other reporters and as a result he has to repay the info by carring out the character assassination of Curtis once he is out the door. To a man the Pistons do this – coaches and players, though Tom Wilson gets the blame there. Pistons control player and team access, feed friendly reporters info and freeze out any that write negatively – you control the access you control the story. And that’s what the Tigers are doing here.

    Granderson was the face of the franchise and there has been huge fan backlash, so now the Tigers feel they have to smear Granderson in hopes of convincing the fans that trading Granderson was a good baseball decision. Pistons smear Carlisle, Larry Brown, Ben Wallace (and now love him again now he’s back), Chauncey Billups (who’s winning in Denver – what about the Pistons?) and Allen Iverson (it was all his fault afterall) – it’s always the fault of the departed player, or coach.

    Tigers took a page from the Pistons with this smear campaign. Lynn Henning playing the role of Chris McCoskey.

  15. My thought is that Henning is ridiculously close to Tigers management, and has been for years. I have no evidence or archives of this, but I remember him being supportive of Tigers moves and decisions going back to the Randy Smith days, when one had to be purposefully fooling himself to think things were going well. If anyone knows where Detroit News archives from 10 years ago are I’m sure they can find something pretty easily.

    His column went well beyond saying “It was a good trade, look what they got, etc.” Saying Granderson couldn’t focus on baseball because of charity work is crazy. I couldn’t believe what I was reading the day after.

    It still may be a decent trade. Maybe the Tigers know something about Granderson baseball-wise that made them think this move was necessary. Maybe they are certain the Jackson is going to develop power and Schlereth is going to be a super reliever. But Henning’s column was crazy and read exactly like a sheet of talking points that the Tigers’ PR team would put together.

    I don’t know Henning other than what I read of his, so I don’t know how his columns always end up this way. But for years he has been writing what I’m sure the Tigers management would want him to write.

  16. Conclusions from the Granderson Affair:

    1. Pay attention to Lynn Henning. He has a direct pipeline to DD.
    2. This wasn’t about $$$. DD clearly believes that Granderson was in decline and the Tigers needed to sell high. That is now reflected in the “Granderson take down” in Henning’s post-trade stories. They’re trying to diminish the stature of a fan icon.
    3. The trade emphasized that the effectiveness of DDs strategy of focusing on pitching has to pay off in the next 18 months or he is gone. The contracts to Bonderman, Robertson and Willis are eating the team alive without eating any innings. So while the Tigers have emphasized pitching in the draft for years, the team has both holes in the rotation and serious deficiencies at several key positions with little help coming from the farm. For DD to survive post 2011, four things need to happen: A. The starting rotation of Verlander, Porcello, Scherzer, et al has to perform at a level equal to baseball’s best; B. the Tigers will have to enjoy an authentic surplus of quality pitching that will permit them to fill position player holes with smart trades; C. a couple of impact position players need to emerge from the system, not just a series of Eric Munson clones; and D. If the first three come to pass, Ilich will have to open his wallet for a FA or two as the final pieces. Reading between the lines of Henning’s columns, this seems to be the high stakes game DD is currently playing.
    4. Final conclusion: we’ll all get over it. I didn’t like the Bolling for Bruton trade at first, but that passed with time…

  17. What is going to happen to the inner city aka African America out reach the Tigs have been doing? Granderson, Edwin Jackson and Marcus Thames gone in one off-season and Willis finished unless Austin Jackson makes the club out of Spring Training and unless I’m forgetting about anybody I don’t believe the Tigs will have an African American player on the opening day roster.

    Epic mistake by the Tigers.

    1. it is only mid-december. Things could change by the season. It is my understanding Dontrelle Willis may not have played or contributed much to the team, but he has been active trying to help the community. So I’d hope that would continue.

    2. Apart from proving a certain Gary Sheffield point, I would hope that this wouldn’t be an issue.

      First, why characterize inner city outreach as African American outreach to begin with? That seems to make it look like Grandy didn’t care about white or hispanic youth (which I very much doubt is the case). Second, I would hope that future players would move away from race-centric outreach programs (if that is what Granderson was involved in), especially in Detroit. I feel like if that city is going to heal, its going to need to do so as “one people”, and constantly pointing to race doesn’t usually achieve that. Third, I can’t think of many things more cynical that composing a roster in order to keep up race appearances. Assemble the best roster possible, and fans will get behind the players, regardless of race.

    3. That thought crossed my mind too. It would be interesting to hear an African American’s perspective. I would think African American kids would be very drawn toward Granderson. Jackson maybe if he were with the team longer. Thames also had some characteristics lending to popularity among young boys (country strong and long homers).
      As a white kid, it’s easy to emulate any athlete, and look only at his skills, because we are secure in our racial identity. For minority kids, it’s harder and they may have a deeper desire to look up to a man who looks like them. Do you compose your roster that way? No, but it does make one think.
      And don’t forget, Lloyd McClendon is still around.

  18. I never read Henning articles, but I’m not really upset with anything he wrote.

    I absolutely loved Granderson and Jackson. I wish they didn’t get traded, but now that they’ve been traded, I don’t love them anymore. Now they are the enemy, so I don’t care what dirty things Henning say’s about them. I hate the Yankees. Someday, I’ll probably start hating Granderson too.

    1. This is an instant classic. Somewhere, Yogi Berra is nodding in agreement.
      Mr X: I never read Henning articles, but I’m not really upset with anything he wrote.

    2. I’m not trying to tell anybody how to be a fan, there are lots of ways and motivations to be sure. But I guess I don’t understand just flipping the switch on a player when said player hasn’t done anything to warrant it. These guys played hard for the Tigers, got traded, and you don’t like them anymore?

      Out of curiosity what is it that draws you to the Tigers and kind of stokes your fandom for the club?

      I know that many fans root more for the laundry than the players, but there is often an affection built up for the players who represent that laundry in a positive way.

      1. “here is often an affection built up for the players who represent that laundry in a positive way.”

        Yep…chicks dig Laundry Reps


      2. why would anybody root for one city or school over another? the reasons usually aren’t logical. whatever the original reason was still holds whether your favorite player is on the team or not.

        there’s nothing stopping you from rooting for granderson as a yankee or jair jurrjens as a brave…..and if you can pull it off more power to you. it seems far more logical to root for players you like than one that a GM selects for you, especially if you disagree with the GM. but that’s not how most people are wired.

      3. Flipping the switch is a force of habit I guess.

        I grew up watching all of my favorite players leave town, such as Rusty Staub, Jason Thompson, Ron Leflore, Steve Kemp, Champ Summers, and John Wockenfuss. All I knew is that once they were gone, I never got to hear Ernie Harwell’s voice say their name in the Tiger’s line-up again.

        Anyway, my favorite players would sometimes get replaced with someone who I ended up liking better, such as Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, or Lance Parrish. Then some of those guys would leave, break my heart again, and I’d have to find some new favorite Tiger players all over again.

        I hated that we traded Ron Leflore for Dan Schatzeder. I was mad that we traded Steve Kemp for Chet Lemon. I was really bummed when we traded Glen Wilson and John Wochenfuss for Willie Hernandez and Dave Bergman. But I didn’t care about that prospect we sent to to Atlanta for Doyle Alexander. I got over these trades and I ended up loving our new players even more.

        That’s my foundation of being Tiger fan. It’s been about moving on to different pastures for better or worse.

      4. What draws me to the Tigers? That question is hard to answer because it’s almost like it’s hard-wired; I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Tiger fan. That loyalty has endured bad trades (Jim Bunning for Don Demeter) and terrible seasons (’75 and ’03). And it’s a lot more than laundry. I left Michigan more than 30 years ago and my loyalty has never faltered. I now live in an NL city so I have a second team to support. But that support comes from my head and can wax and wane depending upon the performance of the team and the quality of the management. With the Tigers it’s different. My support comes directly from my heart and is unconditional. Players and management come and go but the team and its tradition always continues.

        I’ve loved watching Granderson. I will miss him. If he were playing for anyone but the Yankees, I would even root for him. But his departure is just another page to turn in the story of the Tigers. That’s just the way it is.

        1. Hard-wired is right.
          The Tigers are part of my DNA or something.
          When Granderson & Jackson were traded it was like someone pulled my damaged heart out and put a new heart back in. I’m very excited about 2010 and seeing our new crop of players.

  19. To me what’s going on here is pretty clear: Dombrowski knew mid season he would explore trading Granderson along with Jackson. (Payroll is part of it, and when you look at the future of the region in southeast Michigan, things are likely to be very tough economically for a long time. There was also probably a desire to get younger and more athletic. Finally, if DD thinks he can’t re-sign Verlander, he needs to start stockpiling rotation arms now to cushion the blow). So the Tigers front office selectively leaked to Henning, and in exchange, expected his full support for the deal by pointing to the “declining Granderson” and his struggles against lefties. The negatives, as well as the positve attributes of the players acquired. And next time the Tigers’ front office is up to something, guess who gets fed the info first?

  20. When baseball players aren’t playing, or on the team flight, they are doing other things.

    Those other things could include working out, studying video, spending time with family/friends, reading, watching tv, playing guitar hero, doing charity/community work, blogging, drinking heavily, or many other things.

    To determine that the charity/community option is a terrible choice of how to spend this time is odd…

  21. Ok, so Henningn rips Grandy for his community service, fine, then he should rip Miggy tenfold for being hammered the day of games.

    Someone said we will ‘get over it’. I don’t know if that’s really the only issue at play here. I was ‘over it’ the day of the trade. I didn’t lose any sleep. But if ‘getting over it’ means I’ll care about the Tigers just as much, or spend just as much money on the Tiger business. No way. Winning is important, but it’s not the only thing. The team HAS to have at least A FEW guys I truly like to pull for. If they don’t, why would I care if they win?

  22. I stopped reading Henning’s columns in mid September (and complained about it here). Here we were, first place for 100 days, and it was a steady stream of “this team is terrible.” Negative Nellie (negative Neifi?) all the way.

    Yes, it seems he got a “scoop” in exchange for PR fixin’ DD knew he would need. Now I just want to know how he got the scoop on blowing first place.

  23. Henning, like every other “hometown” sportswriter, is an a**-kisser (yes, they grovel here in MN too). Indirectly (perhaps even directly?) his livlihood is dependent on corporations such as the Detroit Tigers. Now that Granderson is no longer part of the team, there is no need to write nice about the former center fielder. And to write negatively about the trade could potentially risk reducing his access to zero. No access, no paycheck. In fact, further groveling may insure greater access. Still, he may be worth reading as long as you don’t take him too seriously in terms of “factualness”; rumors and spin, yes. For any deep analysis he is almost always late to the party, if he shows up at all, and the blogs (hat tip to Bill here, and Lee at Tiger Tales, etc.) are the places to go.

    1. He called this months in advance…and you say he is all right as long as you don’t care about “factualness” What are you smoking?

  24. Terrible analysis. Henning was the only person, who had said all along that we were not going to be able to afford any of these guys (Jackson, Lyon, Rodney, Polly, etc.) We needed to get a younger, more enduring roster. He was the only writer w/ some common sense…Heck, no other writers were discussing how, we needed to sign JV to big money…Now, you chastize him for having a clue. Give me a break, Grandy was the most overhyped ball player ever to come into this town. He did everything but work on his craft. The guy was moving past his prime and considering, we had held on to many other talents way too long..Nate, Inge, etc. Grandy will be a great 7th, 8th, or 9th hitter for the bloated payroll of the yankees. He was not a star as many in Detroit pretended and he was an average defender, who made the occasional spectacular play. Yes, he won a game in Cleveland, but, in the big game at the metrodome, he misplayed a ball badly and who could forget, Mr. slip and slide to put us down 3-1 in the 06 WS. I for one, was sick of hearing about Grnaderson…who couldn’t drive in a runner w/ 2 outs or from 3rd w/ less than 2 outs if his life depended on it. I say way to go Leyland and way to go DD. I’ll take JV for 5 years over Jackson and Granderson anyday.

    1. You’re right, Granderson sucked. Barely replacement-level. It’s a wonder the Tigers were able to come out of their two-decade doldrums dragging his dead weight. Furthermore, since every other GM knew he was an over-hyped, selfish community-first type who should have been spending more time in the film room/cage, it’s a miracle DD was able to create a market to unload the player known widely as “The Distracted”. And besides, he never deserved the love and support of the kind and loyal Detroit fan base. Adios, Mr. Slip and Slide.

      1. Odd coincidence that guys like Granderson and Thames aren’t good enough for our team, but they are good enough for the best team in baseball. What kind of logic soda are they drinking over there in the Big Apple?

        1. Thames was signed to a minor league contract and might not make the team. Even though his OPE is awesome.

        2. Maybe the Yankees will play it wisely and platoon Granderson/Thames in LF. I only wish the Tigers could of done that. Our plans of moving Granderson to LF went sailing when we traded away Maybin for Cabrera. That trade disrupted our teams long term plans in more ways than one. It also made Sheffield expendable, it moved Guillen from 1B to 3B to LF, and it turned Inge into an unhappy bench player for a season. I like Cabrera’s bat, but we sure have bent over backwards for the guy.

          Brett Gardner might just win the everyday Yankee CF job in Spring Training. That guy has great range and speed, has a very good arm, and he’s good at getting on base. I wish the Tigers had a guy like that.

          1. Yeah the Yankees have lots of flexibility indeed, they can do anything they damn well please apparently. Must be nice. I think Grandy will most often be playing CF and leading off.

    2. “we were not going to be able to afford any of these guys (Jackson, Lyon, Rodney, Polly, etc.) We needed to get a younger, more enduring roster.”

      Until this off-season is over, it isn’t going to be easy to pick out what the goal was from the organizations point of view. It also could well be that they adjusted course midway through the off-season.

      However, when looking at some of the signing that were made (Valverde a 30-something @ $7m) and that are being considered (Damon, a 36 yr-old @ $7+m), its hard to say that the departures you mention were for the sake of payroll or youth. Roster control/flexibility might be the underlying theme, but other than that, the Tigers were all over the place this off-season. Lets wait a while to assume.

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