New Centre Fielder in the Bronx
*And the rich get richer. The Yankees, pending some final details leading to an official announcement, have engineered a trade for centre fielder Curtis Granderson that involves three teams. The Tigers sent Granderson to the Yankees and Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks sent pitchers Max Scherzer and Dan Schlereth to the Tigers. The Yankees sent outfielder Austin Jackson and pitcher Phil Coke to the Tigers and pitcher Ian Kennedy to the D'backs.
Granderson has three years and $25.75 million guaranteed remaining on his contract with the Tigers. He will take over in centre field for Melky Cabrera, who could move to left depending on the eventual status of free agent outfielder Johnny Damon.
The major concern for Jays' fans stemming from this announcement was whether the Yankees in moving Jackson and Kennedy, both players that have been linked to a potential Roy Halladay deal, may have removed themselves from the list of potential suitors for GM Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays.
Anthopoulos insists that the three-way afternoon blockbuster will have no impact on the list of teams that are still in negotiations with the Jays for the services of their starting ace. One source from the meetings in the wake of the Granderson trade indicated that perhaps at one point the Jays may have even been courted as a potential third wheel in the running to obtain the two Yankee prospects. Anthopoulos has constantly talked about three ways and even four way deals he has explored. The Jays have comparable young starting pitching to what the D'backs surrendered to the Tigers.
*Later when the Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik stepped to the press room podium for an announcement, half the crowd was convinced it was for the signing of free agent outfielder Jason Bay. Instead, it was merely to confirm the previously announced signing of third baseman Chone Figgins in what the M's GM described as "the worst-kept secret of the meetings."
Bay looks like his choices have now come down to the M's (he lives in the Pacific Northwest), the Red Sox (they know he can handle the pressure-cooker of the AL East) and the Angels (they need to replace the bat of Vladimir Guerrero).
*I've changed my mind. After less than 24 hours of thinking about it, talking to Alex Anthopoulos and hearing from irate readers, I agree that the Jays can do better for Halladay than the rumoured deal last night for Jeff Mathis, Joe Saunders and Peter Bourjos -- even if the Angels threw in a fourth player, a solid prospect from down on the farm. What was I thinking? It was late and I was tired. The Red Sox and the Phillies can put together better packages. Stay tuned.