Another day, another odd Phillies-Yankees trade proposition.
In a Yankees offseason outlook for the New York Daily News, John Harper suggested that the Yanks trade Curtis Granderson to the Phillies for … Darin Ruf.
“Granderson makes a lot of sense for the Phillies, who desperately need power, as well as a center fielder, and they’re still very much in a win-now mode, trying to cash in before their high-priced starting rotation gets too old,” Harper writes.
As for Ruf? Harper had this to say:
“His bat could be valuable to the Yankees in a part-time role in 2013, if he proves ready, and eventually he could become a mainstay in the lineup.”
Let’s break it down…
Why would the Yankees shop Granderson?
Because he’s a free agent after 2013 and, according to Harper, is likely not in the Yankees’ long-term plans.
Granderson hit 43 home runs in 2011, but batted .232 with a .319 OBP and struck out 195 times.
Why the Phillies would want Granderson
Because they have a huge hole in centerfield and Granderson would make a bigger impact than Michael Bourn.
Yes, Granderson had a down year. But he was worth 7.0 WAR in 2011, and that wasn’t even a career-high.
The fact that Granderson is a free agent after 2013 makes him even more appealing. If the Phillies don’t want to commit to him long-term, they don’t have to. If they want his services after 2013, they’d have an advantage.
Granderson’s next contract will be pricey … but would you rather have Michael Bourn in his mid-30s at $17 million per season or Granderson for a similar price?
Why it wouldn’t happen
Yankees GM Brian Cashman would be selling pretty low on Granderson. He would also be buying Ruf at the peak of his potential, even though New York already has a first baseman and Ruf is unproven in the outfield.
Cashman is a thoughtful GM, one of the more underrated ones in the game, actually. The Yankees haven’t gorged on free agents since the CC Sabathia-Mark Teixeira class, and they haven’t traded away too many prospects. Would he really trade a centerfielder in his prime after a down year for a 26-year-old who was never regarded as a top prospect?
That’s where we are now. Ruf for Granderson is a pipe dream. But Harper’s piece brings up the larger point that Granderson could be had for the right price.
If that price is a pitching prospect — of which the Phillies have six or seven top-tier options — and Ruf, would you do it?
Despite the left-handedness and added strikeouts, I think I would. This team badly needs power, even if Utley and Howard are both healthy.
I’m also not sold on giving Bourn Jose Reyes money (six years, $106 million) and Granderson would make much more of an impact with this team than B.J. Upton or everybody’s new boyfriend, Angel Pagan.