Extra Bases

Yankees first to make a big move

As Red Sox fans clamor for Theo Epstein to make a significant move, this news is not going to be welcome.

The Yankees are about to make a three-team deal with the Diamondbacks and Tigers that would get them center fielder Curtis Granderson. The Yankees would give up OF prospect Austin Jackson along with pitchers Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke.

Granderson struggles against lefties and had a meager .327 OBP last season. But he’s young (29 on Opening Day 2010), under control (three years and $23.75 million left on his deal), and is an upgrade over Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner. Granderson is a premium defensive CF.

Jackson is a solid player without a lot of pop but has a bright future given his athleticism and improving skills at the plate. Kennedy and Coke would not be significant losses given the pitching depth the Yankees have.

Detroit is also moving Edwin Jackson in the deal. Removing Granderson and Jackson should give them the payroll flexibility to retain Miguel Cabrera. So forget that idea

Epstein has said time after time that he will not make moves in reaction to what the Yankees do and that’s a wise course of action. But this move by the Yankees will only increase calls that he does something.

My understanding is that the Sox have talked with agents Joe Urbon (Jason Bay) and Scott Boras (Matt Holliday) today. If the Sox leave here with a left fielder, a large portion of their offseason will have been taken care of.

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