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caseyo4

Granderson now on the block too?

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If Grandy gets traded to the Cubs its pretty creepy since I saw a career stat generator thing showing Curtis would end his career as a Cub.

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More reports from the AFL.

Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs: If there's only one name to highlight from the shortstop position, this is it. Just 19 years old, he already reached Double-A late this year. He's hit .301 in his three-year career in the minors, but remains under the radar to most because he's slugged just .393. I'm betting that's going to start to change. Castro has an advanced bat for his age and should start to add more pop as he physically matures, thanks to a smooth swing, good bat speed and a good approach. He's also a 60 defender on the 20-80 scouting scale with a 70 arm. We'll have to wait a bit for the full package to develop, but get in on the ground floor.

Cale Iorg, Detroit Tigers: I included him just in case people are wondering about him. He's a good defender, but he's not going to hit. He didn't pass the Double-A test due to problems recognizing and chasing good breaking balls, and that's been evident here as well.

Scott Sizemore, Detroit Tigers: I talked more about Sizemore's excellent minor league campaign this year in one of my early blog entries from the Valley of the Sun.

Unfortunately, Sizemore's AFL campaign ended shortly thereafter due to a fractured ankle that required surgery. However, he's expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski already intimated that Detroit was prepared to go with Sizemore as the starter next season in place of free agent Placido Polanco before the injury, and said afterwards that "nothing has changed with that thought process. He should come back just fine. We're fortunate."

I'm a big fan of Sizemore's bat, and have been since he was at the AFL for the first time in 2007. He squares the ball up consistently with a short, compact stroke that packs some pop. He's a big-time sleeper for next year.

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Wood, Jackson, Castro, Vitters are all studs I'd LOVE to have on our team.

They're not..

Vitters is overated, Jackson is solid not spectacular, Castro maybe, Wood has had 9 chances and hasn't stuck, has huge swing holes, he was beaten out by Aybar and Itzuris for heavens sakes.

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A guy who might interest the Tigers from the Cubs is former pick Chris Carpenter, although I feel they must get positional prospects for Granderson. The good thing about the Cubs is that they have two of the best young SS prospects in baseball, when you include Hak-Ju Lee; who just turned 19 himself. I wouldn't mind Vitters getting tossed into a deal, but he shouldn't be the centerpiece. Despite his walking disability, he's still a nice talent.

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I wouldn't mind Vitters getting tossed into a deal, but he shouldn't be the centerpiece. Despite his walking disability, he's still a nice talent.

Just looked up his walk rates: 2.5%! My God. Polanco walks twice that, and he never walks.

EDIT - I'd rather not have those types of guys on the team, personally. If he were the only one, it'd be something else, I guess, but he'd be the worst in a crew of hackers. You get a guy like that up to the plate in a key spot, throw him 3 good breaking balls a foot off the plate, and the runners don't even advance. For the same reason, I feel good whenever Delmon Young comes up in a tight spot: don't throw him a fastball, and you've got yourself a strikeout. No, thanks.

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The only players I would consider in a trade for Granderson are MLB players comparable to him or elite prospects. If they can not get either of those, then they should keep him.

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I'm nervous about Granderson. His salary for 2010, I guess, is reasonable, but if he continues to struggle as badly as he did this season against LHPs, then I will see him as overpaid in 2011-13: $8-12M, or so, per season is an awful lot of money for someone who is essentially a platoon player. If the Tigers can get good value in return for trading Granderson, I'll be okay with it.

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I'm nervous about Granderson. His salary for 2010, I guess, is reasonable, but if he continues to struggle as badly as he did this season against LHPs, then I will see him as overpaid in 2011-13: $8-12M, or so, per season is an awful lot of money for someone who is essentially a platoon player. If the Tigers can get good value in return for trading Granderson, I'll be okay with it.

I think he hits so well against RHP and plays good enough defense at an important position that 8-12 million is still very reasonable even if he repeats 2009 for the next three years. I think the only way his salary becomes a problem is he he morphs into Bobby Higginson over the next few years.

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This whole "essentially a platoon player" thing that Law said and now everyone is quoting is stupid. He struggles against lefties but he puts up an OPS of .800 in a decent year despite those struggles. Big deal if he can't hit lefties. Pull him for a pinch hitter late in the game. But because he doesn't hit well in 1/4 of his ABs doesn't take away from the monster he is in the other 3/4.

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This whole "essentially a platoon player" thing that Law said and now everyone is quoting is stupid. He struggles against lefties but he puts up an OPS of .800 in a decent year despite those struggles. Big deal if he can't hit lefties. Pull him for a pinch hitter late in the game. But because he doesn't hit well in 1/4 of his ABs doesn't take away from the monster he is in the other 3/4.

Would it be better if he hit .800 against both lefties and righties? He is kind of a "platoon player" but the good part of his split is so good that it makes up for the bad part of his split. Throw in the defense and the base running and you've got a good player. I would like to see Leyland pinch hit for him versus LHP more often and bench him against some lefties but I think "he's just a platoon player" theme is overplayed.

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Would it be better if he hit .800 against both lefties and righties? He is kind of a "platoon player" but the good part of his split is so good that it makes up for the bad part of his split. Throw in the defense and the base running and you've got a good player. I would like to see Leyland pinch hit for him versus LHP more often and bench him against some lefties but I think "he's just a platoon player" theme is overplayed.

Grandy's numbers against LHP has been just erratic enough where he could rip off a year against LHP that's decent enough to make him far superior offense/defense wise compared to any platoon option.

I kinda like the idea Lee that you came up with of making Casper Wells the 4th OF -- cheap and available, could have a nice 200 rookie at-bats, and with his defense and speed he'd be a nice option to spell Grandy on occasion and back up the corners where the shoes are filled with concrete.

I still think Cameron is the best of all worlds because he would start everyday and you would effectively platoon Raburn's offense every so often (but not religiously) while not having to keep an extra OF around. When Grandy plays, Raburn could play LF while Cameron plays RF, and Maggs could squeeze into RF and DH with Thames-like semi-regularity.

Edited by sabretooth

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Lots of quality lefty-batting players struggle against LHP, but are their splits against lefties as bad as Curtis was in 2009? Just curious as I haven't looked at many lately.

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Hutch, I think you are significantly overvaluing the current Reyes. I could see the Mets moving him for Jackson alone or definitely for Grandy alone let alone both of them. He doesn't have near the value he did 2 years ago.

You might be right. I'm far from a stat geek. Although it's hard to say what he'll be in the future based on the fact he only played 36 games this past season.

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Just looked up his walk rates: 2.5%! My God. Polanco walks twice that, and he never walks.

EDIT - I'd rather not have those types of guys on the team, personally. If he were the only one, it'd be something else, I guess, but he'd be the worst in a crew of hackers. You get a guy like that up to the plate in a key spot, throw him 3 good breaking balls a foot off the plate, and the runners don't even advance. For the same reason, I feel good whenever Delmon Young comes up in a tight spot: don't throw him a fastball, and you've got yourself a strikeout. No, thanks.

Thank you..I can always depend on Cioe to get it. Vitters is a suckers play, great reputation, but the real answer is there if you are willing to look and listen.

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Is Clete Thomas playing winter ball anywhere? Anyone know off the top of their head?

IIRC, Thomas said he wasn't going to? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

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IIRC, Thomas said he wasn't going to? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

I think he could really benefit if he did. If he could cut down on his strikeouts, he could be more than just a good ML player. He has the raw tools. He's relatively fast. He has a good arm from RF. He's strong as hell. He has some pop. The only thing misssing is his contact rate.

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Lots of quality lefty-batting players struggle against LHP, but are their splits against lefties as bad as Curtis was in 2009? Just curious as I haven't looked at many lately.

He had the widest split in the majors which is both good and bad. He hits unusually bad against LHP and unusually good against RHP.

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Thank you..I can always depend on Cioe to get it. Vitters is a suckers play, great reputation, but the real answer is there if you are willing to look and listen.

Vitters is only 20 years old - won't be 21 until the end of next season. No chance he'll improve his walk rate? How was his plate approach in high school?

I honestly don't know, and don't really care unless he were to get traded to the Tigers. But he was thought enough about to be picked #3 overall in the '07 draft, though of course a high draft selection doesn't necessarily mean it was deserved (Matt Bush).

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Vitters is only 20 years old - won't be 21 until the end of next season. No chance he'll improve his walk rate? How was his plate approach in high school?

I honestly don't know, and don't really care unless he were to get traded to the Tigers. But he was thought enough about to be picked #3 overall in the '07 draft, though of course a high draft selection doesn't necessarily mean it was deserved (Matt Bush).

When your walk rate against pitching that typically struggles to throw strikes is less than 2.5%, you have pitch recognition problems.

Edited by sportz4life

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I'm nervous about Granderson. His salary for 2010, I guess, is reasonable, but if he continues to struggle as badly as he did this season against LHPs, then I will see him as overpaid in 2011-13: $8-12M, or so, per season is an awful lot of money for someone who is essentially a platoon player. If the Tigers can get good value in return for trading Granderson, I'll be okay with it.

Bill Dickey was essentially a platoon player most of his career, and he is both in the Hall of Fame and one of the best 10 catchers of all time.

Jus' sayin'.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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When your walk rate against pitching that typically struggles to throw strikes is less than 2.5%, you have pitch recognition problems.

Yup.

And throw on the pile that DD specifically mentioned the desire to increase the team's OBP after this season suggests to me such a player will not appeal to him.

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This post explains exactly how I feel. I'm a big numbers guy but there are rare players who transcend analysis and Granderson is one of those players for me. Whitaker and Trammell were like that too. Plus, I don't agree that he's on the decline. If Grandy is traded, it would have to be an absolutely amazing deal for me to support it.

That's kind of where I am with it and I have a hunch the organization is feeling somewhat the same way.

I would think that moving Granderson would likely be done for prospects that don't much measure up to the PR that Granderson carries with him. It could be a tremendous one-way no brainer deal for Dombrowski to make in terms of talent, but I would bet die hard fans of the team without knowledge of players/prospects outside of the organizatiopn would be up in arms, and the Tigers could possibly jeopardize early season or entire season ticket sales and related concessions. I would think other GMs would realize this as well. But if DD gets one with an itchy trigger finger, the flip side could be a season or two of discontent from a segment of the fans, followed by the possibility of long term success from the guys gotten in exchange of Grandy.

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Club has prospects to pry center fielder away from cash-deprived Detroit Tigers

By Phil Rogers

Tribune reporter

November 14, 2009

Along with the Yankees and the Angels, sources say the Cubs plan an aggressive push to land Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson.

A source close to the Cubs said Friday that general manager Jim Hendry "absolutely" is interested in offering a prospect-heavy package of players if Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski decides to trade the 28-year-old Illinois-Chicago product.

According to the source, Hendry and Dombrowski spoke about Granderson and other Tigers players during the GM meetings earlier in the week at the O'Hare Hilton. The question the Cubs and others are asking is whether the Tigers' economic difficulties are severe enough that Dombrowski would trade a top young talent such as Granderson.

In the 48 hours after the Granderson rumors first surfaced, Dombrowski did little to discourage that idea.

"I feel very comfortable in saying there are generally a lot of conversations at these meetings, and this year there were really a lot," Dombrowski told the Detroit News.

The Tigers ended last season with a payroll of about $120 million, a level attainable only if 80-year-old owner Mike Ilitch remains willing to endure financial losses in the hope of winning a World Series to go along with the four Stanley Cups his Wings have won.

Ilitch appears to have ordered Dombrowski to cut his payroll severely -- a daunting task given long-term contracts. The creative GM may have decided to move players who will bring a return in personnel rather than spending his offseason trying simply to dump Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson, who are due a combined $85.5 million next season.

Sources have indicated the Angels and Yankees also are exploring a Granderson deal.

A Cubs offer could be built around 19-year-old shortstop Starlin Castro, who is emerging as one of the top prospects in the minors. Third baseman Josh Vitters, 19-year-old Korean shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and minor league pitching from a group including Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson and Chris Carpenter also could be part of deal.

A Cubs source suggests a Granderson offer also could include low-priced veterans whom the Tigers either could keep or move elsewhere. Those players include Jake Fox, Micah Hoffpauir, Tom Gorzelanny, Aaron Heilman, Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles.

Don't look for a quick resolution to the Granderson talks. Dombrowski could spend the next few weeks building the market and strike a deal at the winter meetings Dec. 7-10.

progers@tribune.com

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