Or so says the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Morrissey:
The Tigers center fielder is a wonderful baseball player, and the Cubs should pursue a trade for him with the relentlessness of a Justice Department probe. His career numbers will tell you he’s a good performer — .272 average, .344 on-base percentage and 299 RBIs in a little more than four full seasons — but they won’t tell you the whole story. The numbers won’t tell you he’s the self-effacing leader others pretend to be.
The numbers will have something to say about his ability as an outfielder, but they will come up short in terms of eloquence. And there’s not an on-field statistic that reflects how popular the charismatic Granderson is with teammates and fans.
He’s the local kid made good — from Thornton Fractional South to Illinois-Chicago to the Tigers. And now, after a disappointing season, the Tigers are in dump-salary mode and might be willing to trade the 28-year-old. If you’re the Cubs, who have thrown good money after bad on the likes of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley the past several years, you should jump at the opportunity to acquire Granderson, who will make “only” $5.5 million next season.
That Granderson’s contract is structured such that he will make just $5.5 million next year (escalating thereafter) really does make him a perfect fit for the Cubs. Even if the Cubs are not able to save much money moving Milton Bradley, adding Granderson’s relatively small salary would not be precluded.
Of course, Morrissey goes on to suggest that the Cubs should trade Carlos Marmol and Starlin Castro for Granderson, or alternatively, Castro and Josh Vitters. Forgive me, but either price is probably a bit too steep. Including Castro at all will take some cajoling, but should be considered. Including Castro AND another top stud like Vitters or Marmol? That would probably be a mistake.