The Early Granderson Trade Results

Following the Johnny Damon walk-off homerun on Saturday afternoon, I could not help to think about the beneficial results that the Curtis Granderson trade has had on both the Yankees and the Tigers (this retrospective focuses on the Tigers and Yankees parts of trade only). While Damon did not come over in the deal that broke many hearts in this town, it was his pending absence from the Yankees (along with Hideki Matsui) that helped push the Yankees toward making a significant deal. While trades with the Tigers are often signified for their long-term impact (see Smoltz-Alexander trade), the short term impact may make the difference between whether the Tigers can make the playoffs.

Austin Jackson wears a number that is half the value of his predecessor, but his game has shown to be just as exciting. He is simply the ultimate Rookie of the Year candidate, as his impact has been tremendous for a team looking for solid hitting. Admittingly, he has had too many strikeouts, but patience will come in time. His .356 batting average and .412 OBP have been huge for a team missing those level of numbers last season. I don’t hear many individuals that are complaining in a baseball sense for having Jackson instead of Granderson’s bat and glove in the lineup.

Phil Coke seemed to be a throw-in player with the lack of a place in the Tigers’ lineup when he came over from the Yankees. A Bobby Seay injury and early uncertainty with Brad Thomas and Daniel Schlereth placed Coke into the role of the top lefty coming out of the Detroit bullpen. As Coke showed in a recent performance against the Twins, he could end up being a huge key to the Tigers this season. His numbers haven’t been too shabby either: 3-0, 1.93 ERA, 8 BB/11 Ks. With a Twins team stacked with big lefties, his role will be especially important for those 15 remaining with Minnesota.

On the Yankees side of things, Curtis Granderson’s recent trip to the DL should not take away from the .225 that the former Tigers OF sported to start the year. His strikeout numbers may only decrease by a fraction this season, but his 18 hits on the season (1/3 have been for extra bases) had mostly come in the first few weeks. His recent slump has been a great deal of concern for a Yankees team looking for production from players like Mark Teixiera.

Overall, through the first month of the season this trade swings heavily towards the Tigers. Time will only tell on how fondly Tigers fans look back on this trade.