Granderson, Miguel Cabrera and the Red Sox
|12.08.09 at 1:23 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — According to a major-league source, the Red Sox checked in with the Tigers earlier this offseason to get a sense of the cost of acquiring Curtis Granderson in a deal. The potential appeal would have been clear: Granderson is 28, a brilliant defensive player, a tremendous hitter against right-handed pitching (.275/.358/.539/.897 with 28 of his 30 homers in 2009) and, conceivably, could have given the Sox one potential alternative to being at the mercy of the Jason Bay/Matt Holliday sweepstakes.
If there had been at least a potential fit, the Sox could have contemplated acquiring Granderson and moving Jacoby Ellsbury to left field, thus giving the Sox tremendous outfield defense, impressive lineup speed and a fairly well-rounded club. That is not to say that the team necessarily would have preferred Granderson to Bay or Holliday, but a team benefits in the player acquisition market by having choices (hence the value, for instance, in the Sox’ consideration of having Dustin Pedroia move to short as an alternative to Marco Scutaro).
But, the Sox quickly discovered that there wasn’t any fit with the Tigers, who need major-league ready position players. The strength of the Sox’ system, at least from a position player standpoint, is in Double A and High A; the team does not have anyone who could have offered the Tigers with a replacement for Granderson. The Yankees, on the other hand, have Austin Jackson, who is viewed in the industry as either being major-league ready or close to it, a dazzling athlete who was recruited to play point guard at Georgia Tech and who is a legitimate big-league centerfielder going forward.
The effort to deal Granderson (and Edwin Jackson) offers fairly compelling evidence that the Tigers are indeed in a cost-cutting phase. That being the case, it is natural to wonder whether the team might make Miguel Cabrera available.
To date, according to a major-league source, there is no evidence that the Tigers are dangling the hitter extraordinaire (Cabrera hit .324 with a .396 OPS and .942 OPS, all among the best marks in the American League last year). Moreover, given Detroit’s interest in receiving major-league ready pieces — and, especially, position players — the possibility of a deal that might send Cabrera to the Red Sox seems far-fetched at this point (and that is without considering the concerns about the first baseman’s weight and off-field indiscretions).
Of course, there remains the possibility that economic realities at some point might force the Tigers to deal a player who has six years and $126 million remaining on his contract. But for now, there hasn’t been evidence that Detroit is looking to move the four-time All-Star.
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