A few warm thoughts as I again employ coffee with a lump of sugar and a spritz of egg nog to defeat the cold–6 degrees this morning in The Heartland, with a wind chill of -14. Effing burr.
Hat tip to Mike for e-mailing this post from Joe Posnanski’s blog, a strong, detailed entry running through various point about Granderson that reveal the strength of the upgrade the Yankees made to CF. Well worth the read.
Cliff Corcoran at Bronx Banter has a good but more balanced entry in which he expresses some concern that, should Granderson not improve against lefties and cut down his K’s, he risks reduction to part-time status.
For good segments of an interview with Granderson, see Chad Jennings at LoHud and Tyler Kepner at The Times. A couple things stand out. The first is that Granderson not just says the right things, but appears to be genuinely humble, especially when he discusses learning from Cano and other lefties about hitting lefties. This reveals not just the characteristic willingness to improve, but also this facet from a proven major-league, all-star ball player. That impresses me a lot. Additionally, this is an intriguing bit at the bottom of Jennings’s post:
If Johnny Damon were to be re-signed, Cashman said Damon would likely return to the No. 2 spot in the order and Granderson would move into a more run-producing spot in the lineup.
Not a bad idea. Should JD return, and I would welcome that for the right terms, why mess with what has worked, as I posted the other day about Jeter remaining the lead-off hitter? Plus, Granderson has power plus speed, allowing him to hit say fifth through seventh (probably sixth or seventh given his high K numbers). I would prefer to see his speed used near the top of the order but, with JD back, keeping JD second would certainly not be a bad move. His bat control is sharp, he slaps the ball the other way but can yank it out to right, and that combination with Jeter is as formidable as any atop an order in baseball.
Speaking of JD, Buster Olney just posted on the ESPN CoverItLive chinwag that the Yankees are negotiating with JD right now, hoping to settle something quickly. Based on his and Boras’s exceedingly sanguine rhetoric, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen fast, but would definitely welcome him back.
The Rays dealt newly acquired righty Jesse Chaves, obtained from Pittsburgh for Akinori Iwamura, to the Braves for reliever Rafael Soriano. Boston has dealt Mike Lowell to Texas for catcher Max Ramirez, and agreed to eat $9 million of Lowell’s $12 million salary for 2010 in a clear dump and move to become both younger, more athletic, and better defensively after Lowell’s struggles last season. [Edit: ESPN is now reporting that the deal is still being worked out, pending mutual concerns about each player's physicals. Also, Olney reports that should the trade go through, they may pursue Adrian Beltre to play third.] Orioles Yankee punching bag Chris Ray is gone to Texas for the perpetually overrated Kevin Millwood. Texas also signed talented but oft-injured Rich Harden.
No offense to The Mighty Abe, who did yeoman’s work establishing LoHud as the premier blog that it is with his hard work and wit, but the work in these segments from Chad Jennings reminds me that I don’t miss Pete Abe at all. Jennings does very good work, people.