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The Yankees picked up Curtis Granderson in the first blockbuster trade of the offseason yesterday. Granderson, a gold glove caliber centerfielder, should take over the second spot in the batting order from outgoing Johnny Damon. Damon could still return in a DH/LF role.
Detroit made out big time in this deal, shipping out Granderson and Edwin Jackson and receiving Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth. Granderson is a flawed hitter whose struggles against lefthanders have grown. Jackson went from first half all star to second half bust as the Tigers faded from the playoff chase. Scherzer is an up and coming star whose high velocity fastball enabled him to strikeout more than a batter per inning.
Austin Jackson is a powerless but speedy outfielder in the mold of a poor man’s Andrew McCutchen. Schlereth and Coke are young power lefties who should pitch at the end of the Tiger bullpen.
This move, while significant, could lead to huge moves. Now that Detroit is free of Granderson, Jackson and Placido Polanco, GM Dave Dombrowski might be thinking rebuild. The team’s finances are in trouble and there are still a number of large contracts on the books. First baseman Miguel Cabrera would be a huge coup for a team like Boston to make a move on. Boston has one of the top farm systems in the game and could package a Lars Anderson, Casey Kelly and others in a move to acquire Cabrera.
A fire selling Detroit would also look to move Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis, Magglio Ordonez or Carlos Guillen in a Cabrera deal to dump salary. If the Red Sox were willing, they could likely acquire Cabrera and Ordonez or Guillen, who could take over for Jason Bay in left field. Ordonez could even be a DH possibility or at the very least platoon with the declining David Ortiz. Willis could be attractive as a potential reclamation project if the financials are balanced enough.
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