The Tigers are letting teams know center fielder Curtis Granderson is available, according to an NL executive who talked to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. Sherman believes the Yankees would have interest.
Sherman qualifies the rumor, saying Granderson nor Edwin Jackson are players the Tigers truly want to trade. [emphasis mine]
Hmm...I'm not happy about this, but I'm not surprised given all of the Edwin Jackson talk that has been going around. That being said, the Tigers are not trying to trade these players, they are saying that the players are not untouchable. Jackson and Granderson are super-appealing trade chips in that they are 1. very good and 2. very cheap (relative to their market value). I can think of 29 major league baseball clubs who would jump at the chance to sign either of them.
For this reason, they are not players that the Tigers are going to give away. They don't need to move these players as part of a salary dump--they would be a relative drop in the bucket--and they aren't going to mortgage their future for one season of a slightly smaller but still very large payroll. If either of these players get traded, it will be in a package with somebody with a bigger salary and a pending replacement-in-waiting (I'm looking at you Carlos Guillen/Magglio Ordonez, or one of the Willis/Robertson/Bonderman trifecta). With MLB Trade Rumors throwing the Cubs out there as a possibility, it makes me wonder whether a Granderson+Big Salary Player swap could bring Milton Bradley and prospects to Detroit. That would alleviate the budget woes and do some system restocking, but I'm guessing that a better deal could be had elsewhere.
That being said, it would be a crushing blow if the Tigers traded Granderson for two reasons:
1. Lynn Henning would have been right, despite pulling this out of his backside months ago.
2. Curtis Granderson provides more value to the team on and off the field than any other player in Detroit. He is a beloved player that brings advertising and merchandise dollars to the team, is a community staple, nationally respected in the MLB and has the on-field skill that made him the second most valuable position player on the team in terms of wins added. I don't see how trading Granderson is anything but a huge step backward in 2010, and I'm not sure how they would recover in 2011 with no heir apparent in Centerfield.
Too hot in the hot stove. I don't like this at all.