By now you have heard the news, Curtis Granderson is out for 2-3 months with a fractured right forearm. Granderson was already down in value according to our Top 251 in our Draft Kit, ranked at No. 46 overall.
That was probably a little generous, as he is no longer stealing bases. We understand that he was never exactly Michael Bourn or Jacoby Ellsbury on the base paths, but 40 homers from an outfielder that you can draft after round 4 is nothing to scoff at either. The thing with Granderson is that his batting average, is, well, below average. Couple that with him settling in to being a 15 or less stolen base guy consistently, and you now have a guy that NEEDS to hit 40 homers to not be in the same breath as guys like: Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz or actually less attractive than Mark Trumbo, all of whom are going in rounds 8-10.
With all that said, we now have to plan on Granderson missing the next 10 weeks. These are just the types of things that drive me nuts in my pre-season preparation. The reason being is that there is now a little shuffle that goes on through my previously mapped out snake draft for a 12-team head-to-head league I am in.
Perhaps some of you can sympathize with me. If you’re like me and try to figure out which guys might be available to you, especially in the early rounds, you can definitely sympathize.I previously had Granderson going to a team early in the fourth round as they lacked an outfielder in their keepers. With this injury however, I doubt ANYONE will take Grandy in the fourth. This will cause me to adjust my projected picks all the way down.
The reality is that he was close to being a keeper in that league for the team he was on, as each team gets up to three keepers. Maybe he was previously a keeper for you. The one really bad thing about a right forearm break for a left handed power hitter is that even when he is ready to be back on the field and in the lineup, it doesn’t mean he will be 100% right (no pun intended).
You really have to curb your expectations for Granderson. First he will miss in season at bats, at least 100-125 of them, so he is definitely not making good on his full season projections, furthermore, if his weakened right forearm saps power from him, he may end up on the wrong side of 20 homers and with his aforementioned low average and lack of steals, he may not be worth keeping. So, here is how I would handle Granderson if he had been slated as one of my keepers previously:
- Snake draft (in which you give up a top round of picking for each player kept): This is definitely a “DROP it like it’s hot” situation unless of course you get so many keepers that Granderson ends up costing a ninth round pick. Even still, I’d like to know your other options before telling anyone to keep him.
- Snake draft in which the round you sacrifice is contingent on the player: As mentioned above, I think Granderson will have to be available as a 10th round pick or later for me to feel super confident in keeping him or drafting him. So “HOLD ON for one more day.”
- Auction drafts: Some auctions you keep players at a reset value every year, others you keep him at what you paid. In any auction draft, I would not keep Granderson for more than $10. He was previously valued at $24 by us, I cannot speak outright for the other guys but I think we would probably cut that in half given this particular situation. This one is a toss up BUT I am going to say “HOLD ON for one more day” or at least until you know how much he will cost you.
I would most certainly like to end on a more positive note, so let’s look at the guys that might benefit from Granderson being down and out.
First and foremost we have Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, who will now have many more opportunities to bat in either the 1 or 2 spots of the lineup early in the season. I think that the early favorite is Ichiro to lead off, and depending on Jeter’s opening day status, I slot him at 2.
Gardner however has shown the ability to get on base and steal second in his career, and that can be a little more valuable than what an aging Ichiro brings to the table. So really monitor this situation closely, as if either of these guys really impresses in that spot and can keep themselves hitting atop this lineup all season, they would be in line for a nice uptick in stats just from gaining an extra 100-150 at bats.
Lastly, Juan Rivera stands to gain many more early season at bats as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you draft the 34-year-old journeyman, I am just saying that Rivera has had a few pretty good major league seasons when getting at-bats. If he starts to show he has a little left in the tank, he may be a good option if you have an injury to an OF early in the season. You just never know.