There is early indication that the Chicago White Sox intend to pursue Curtis Granderson this off-season. This is not good news for the New York Yankees. Not only is Granderson the Yankees’ most accomplished home run hitter but he is also a Chicago native and with the Yankees’ desire to get under the $189 luxury tax threshold, the Yankees can’t afford to spend crazily to keep Granderson.
The worst part is that if the Yankees offer Granderson a qualifying offer, which if he accepts would cost the Yankees about $14 million for a one-year deal, and he signs with the White Sox the Yankees would only get a second round pick in return for Granderson. The White Sox own the number three pick in the draft next June which means their pick is protected.
Granderson, who will be 33 next year, is coming off of a season that was delayed by a broken forearm suffered in his first at-bat of spring training and then saw his comeback cut short after eight games when he was hit by another pitch that broke his pinkie finger. Granderson hit just .229/.317/.407 with seven homers, 13 doubles, two triples and 27 walks in 245 plate appearances. He also struck out 69 times.
Granderson’s numbers look generally awful and some may believe he is in decline. However, given his injuries, it is reasonable to believe he can return closer to the .245/.335/.495 slash line he has posted in his four years with the Yankees which could lead some teams like the White Sox to invest in one of the very few power bats on the free agent market.
Ideally, if the Yankees were to lose Granderson, getting a first round pick back as compensation would be the best-case scenario. Of course, replacing Granderson won’t be easy for the Yankees who suffered from a major power shortage that forced them to go out and trade for Alfonso Soriano. A lineup with a healthy Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter looks a lot more formidable with Soriano and Robinson Cano than what the Yankees were running out for a large chunk of the season. However, given the financial restraints, the Yankees might have to let Granderson walk and a second round pick coming back as compensation would certainly be a major disappointment.