Monday, February 22, 2010
Now that the offseason outfield moves have concluded and Curtis Granderson and Johnny Damon have flip flopped places it's time to take a look at which squad was the winner and which was the loser.
The biggest Granderson advantage is the fact that he is 7 1/2 years younger than Damon and much less likely to see a steep decline in production over the next few seasons.
Granderson is set to make 23.75$ million over the next three seasons with an option of $13 million in year 4 or a 2$ million buyout. Damon is set to make 8$ million over one season. Both of these contracts are extremely manageable for the production that the two are expected to produce.
Damon has become a poor fielder. His speed is no longer what made him a solid centerfielder and his arm strength is as embarrassing as ever. Granderson's fielding isn't the greatest in the league but he is certainly an upgrade over Damon.
As an overall hitter Damon is frankly better than Granderson. He does a much better job of getting on base and he strikes out at a much lower rate. His power is not to Granderson's level but it doesn't fall ludicrously behind.
Johnny Damon enjoyed the friendly confines of the New Yankee Stadium more so than any other player on the roster. Damon's OPS was .120 points higher at home than it was on the road. He hit 17 of his 24 homers at home. Meanwhile Curtis Granderson an CoMerica had the exact opposite relationship. At home, Granderson's OPS was nearly .170 lower than on the road. He hit 20 of his 30 home runs on the road. If you are a Yankee fan you have to hope that the huge bounce in production that Damon saw at the stadium will be a huge bounce in production that Granderson sees this year.
If you're looking for the HUGE Johnny Damon advantage over Curtis Granderson it comes with Lefty/Righty splits. Last season against left handed pitchers Curtis Granderson was essentially you or I, aka he couldn't hit them a lick. His OPS against lefties was over .400 points lower than against righties. Johnny on the other hand was significantly less effective against lefties last year than righties but the splits were manageable.
While it seems like everyone loved Johnny Damon when he was with the Yankees I also don't see how anyone could dislike Curtis Granderson. From the times I've seen Granderson interviewed or on Sportscenter he seems like a very intelligent and well thought of individual. Neither of these guys are Milton Bradley.
If you're asking me who is likely the winner or loser from this trade/signing I'd like go with the Tigers simply for the reason that not only did they get Damon but they got a package of prospects, including Austin Jackson for Granderson. They likely won't see a major decline between Granderson and Damon this season and they could have a solid outfield for the future in Jackson who is 6 years younger than Curtis.