Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yes, But Can Granderson Grow Sexy Stubble?

Very quickly and unceremoniously, there appears to be a major shift in man-crushes and downright obsession in the world of the Cubs from the sexy stubble of Mark DeRosa

to a new object of everyone's affection, the apparent un-thinkin', fun-lovin' Curtis Granderson of the Detroit Tigers.

The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers is driving the Granderson Love Bus, but there are plenty of folks on Twitter jumping on board for a ride.
  • @lozotweets - #Cubs please get Curtis Granderson. Worry about Bradley after that
  • @DrGreg309 - Could the Cubs get Curtis Granderson? Maybe they could trade Milton Bradley for him!
  • @ClarkAddison - I could live with (and the Cubs could win with) an outfield of Soriano |
    Granderson | Fukudome.
  • @AndrewRDouglass - Love it. Granderson is one of my fav. players in MLB.
  • @D_Wyatt13 - If Curtis Granderson is available, then we (Cubs) need to go for him, minus Bradley and add Granderson. Would take that
  • @AngelaWoody - Granderson Solid Guy grt community asset/and player!
  • @5353 - @CarrieMuskat have your heard ANY real indication #cubs could go after granderson? please say yes.
I'm not sure how I feel about giving up multiple top prospects in order to land Granderson.  He can hit major league pitching, but how well is up for debate.  In 2007, he put up a fine batting line of .302/.361/.552/.913.  In 2008, he dropped to .280/.365/.494/.858, which is still good, but not special.  Last year, he dropped further to .249/.327/.453/.780 which gets right into the mediocre range.

So which Curtis Granderson is going to show up?  When lists players that are statistically similar to Granderson, the list includes very good players like Michael Cuddyer, Brad Hawpe, and Jayson Werth, but also tremendous disappointments like Kevin Mench, Craig Wilson, Geronimo Berroa, and Kal Daniels.

He is also almost useless against left-handed pitching.  Over his career, his batting line against lefties is .210/.270/.344/.614.  That is Aaron Miles territory.  The plus side is that he beats the crap out of right-handed pitching to the tune of .292/.367/528/.894.  He seems like an ideal platoon player with Reed Johnson, but the Cubs probably can't afford to re-sign Reed Johnson and have Granderson on the books, so the Cubs will still need a right-handed outfielder for days when the Cubs face a lefty.

Also, if the Tigers are serious about landing multiple quality prospects (with the Angels and Yankees also involved, the Tigers do have leverage), do the Cubs really want to give up a couple of guys like Castro, Vitters, or Cashner for a platoon player?  Do we really want an acquisition that comes with such a high price to be completely neutralized by someone like Randy Wolf starting against the Cubs in the playoffs?

Of course, it is also entirely possible that the market for Granderson may not require such high-level prospects.  It's not like Granderson's splits, strikeout rate, and two year decline into mediocrity are a secret to the other teams who may be interested, so maybe they won't fall all over themselves in an effort to land him and jack the price up into the stratosphere.  Maybe it will turn out that someone like Jake Fox has some value in a deal like this so that the Cubs only give up one top-ranked prospect in a package.

We must also consider the possibility that none of the Cubs top-level prospects will actually end up being star-level players on the major league level.  Let's face it, the line of guys like Matt Murton, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Bobby Hill, Hee Seop Choi, and many, many others doesn't exactly make me all that confident that Starlin Castro will end up being a better shortstop than Ronny Cedeno or that Josh Vitters will be better at third than Kevin Orie.  Perhaps getting Curtis Granderson in return is the best use of that talent, as was using Choi and Hill to land Lee and Ramirez.

It certainly would be a better use of the talent than letting the value completely fizzle to nothing like Pie and Patterson.

Of course, if they can't move Milton Bradley's salary off the books, they can't really bring in Granderson's salary anyway, so this may end up being nothing but something for us bloggers to write about during the long winter months.  So at least there is that.


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