You know, I’ve never heard of John Harper, Yankees writer for the New York Daily News. But I really like his style.
In his column detailing five things the Yankees should do to rebuild for 2013, the number one item on his list was to trade CF Curtis Granderson to the Phillies in exchange for Darin Ruf.
He wasn’t kidding.
Now, there has been no greater supporter of Ruf than yours truly. I really do think he has a chance to be a decent Major League power hitter.
But the idea of trading Ruf straight-up for Granderson is so laughable on its face, one really does have to wonder if a hacker accessed Harper’s email address and submitted a phony story.
And if you think I’m making this up, here’s what he said about the proposed “blockbuster.”
Granderson makes a lot of sense for the Phillies, who desperately need power, as well as a center fielder, and they’re still very much in a win-now mode, trying to cash in before their high-priced starting rotation gets too old.
Granderson’s long-ball stroke (84 HRs the last two years) would play as well at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark as it does at Yankee Stadium, and it might help rejuvenate that aging lineup.
Ruf, meanwhile, is a promising young righthanded hitter who put up big numbers as MVP of the Double-A Eastern League, hitting .317 with 38 home runs and 104 RBIs, as well as a 1.028 OPS, and then had an impressive brief stint with the Phillies in September.
At age 26, Ruf is not really a phenom, having developed his power gradually after being a 20th-round pick out of Creighton. The Phillies are converting him from first base to the outfield, and scouts believe he can play a serviceable left field.
His bat could be valuable to the Yankees in a part-time role in 2013, if he proves ready, and eventually he could become a mainstay in the lineup.
Not even the most avid Ruf fan could argue that this move would be an absolute no-brainer for the Phillies.
In exchange for an unproven rookie slugger, the Phils would acquire a center fielder who hit 43 home runs last year. Ruf is still probably not considered a top-five prospect in the organization by scouts and evaluators, and I’m sure there are scouts who still don’t think he’s a top-10 guy, despite his unreal power surge this year.
If the Yanks decide to keep Granderson, they would owe him $13 million on a team option. Or, they could simply buy him out for $2 million, making him a free agent.
Even if New York picks up the option and trades him to Philadelphia, $13 million for one year is certainly a price at which the Phils would jump.
But at the end of the day, this idea is so ludicrous on its face that I’ve probably typed 250 more words on the idea than it deserved. The fact that I actually went to Granderson’s Baseball Reference page makes me some kind of a smacked ass.
One quick note on this, though. Beerleaguer’s Jason Weitzel noted today that Ruf is tearing it up in winter ball, hitting .276/.344/.724 with four home runs in eight games.
Ruben… make the call.