Obviously, Curtis Granderson is a big name out there in imaginary trade land. Many Yankee fans feel that we need to seriously upgrade our outfield. I call this the 'Eli Manning Phenomenon.' This is where fans inexplicably decide their team can't possibly succeed with a player or group of players with which their team has not only succeeded but also won championships.
Damon and Swisher are, at best, average outfielders with below average arms. Melky Cabrera is a competent center fielder with an above average arm; while Gardner, though really fast, couldn't throw out a crippled dog (believe me, I've seen him try).
The truth is, however, it doesn't matter. All of them can read the path of the ball competently. With the exception of Melky on a few occasions, all of them are aware of their limitations and don't go diving for balls they have no chance of getting to, thereby turning singles into doubles or worse. They cut off balls, and hit the cut off guys, and play a smart, though not always an athletic outfield. That, truly, is all you need.
Swisher, the one with the below average arm, made two heads up plays to pick runners off during the play-offs because they strayed too far from the bag on pop-flys. He did not gun anyone down, he just threw to where he was supposed to and it was enough.
Last year, we lost exactly zero games because of our "subpar" outfield. We won quite a few games because our outfielders, particularly Cabrera, came up with timely hits.
The Yankees don't need an upgrade in their outfield, at least not any upgrade not named Austin Jackson. Granderson is a good player and a good ESPN guest analyst, but he does not make the Yankees exceptionally better. More athletic? Yes. More likely to repeat? No. Less likely to repeat? Probably not, though his strike outs are cause for concern, especially if he's replacing someone like Damon, who won game four of the World Series by having a patient at-bat and then stealing two bases (again, though Damon is not as fast as he once was, as long as he plays smart baseball, which he generally does, he's fast enough).
Is Granderson worth trading away Austin Jackson? Maybe if Damon won't accept a reasonable contract (and we know Bay and Holliday won't be accepting reasonable contracts, nor will they be worth their contracts, especially considering Carl Crawford will be available next year). But even then, it's a high cost.
Mark Feinsand thinks the Yankees should skip Granderson and focus on trying to trade for Roy Halladay (hey, even without an extension, is there any concern we wouldn't be able to keep him after 2010?). What do you guys think?