The rumored trade is done:
Tigers trade Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson
Tigers get starting pitcher Max Scherzer, outfielder Austin Jackson and relievers Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth
My initial reaction is not a positive one but I'm in no mood to analyze this trade right now. I first saw Curtis Granderson when he played for Oneonta in 2002. I'm not a scout but sometimes a player jumps out at me and Granderson was one of those players. I knew he was going to be good even if some doubted him. I was on the Granderson bandwagon before it became chic to be on the Grandy bandwagon.
I watched him as often as I could as he moved through the system. He made steady progress proving himself at every level. He finally got a chance to play for the Tigers in 2005 and never looked back.
On the field, he was a good all around player who contributed substantially to the 2006 pennant winner. He was near MVP quality in 2007 with his amazing 20/20/20/20 season. Defensively, he was a solid center fielder and made some of the most memorable catches in baseball during the last five years.
Soon, it became clear that Granderson was not just a good player but also a great person. He was intelligent, had a great work ethic and an engaging personality. He quickly became a fan favorite connecting with fans in ways few players had done previously. He did outstanding community work and promoted the game around the world. He was recently named Man of The Year for his off field achievements.
Many Tigers internet fans will always remember how he recognized their friend Brian Bluhm when he was killed in the horrific Virginia Tech shootings. Curtis made Brian his number one fan on facebook and wrote about him on his blog.
From a personal standpoint, he was the only player I ever interviewed. The article I wrote about him in Tigers Corner in 2007 was my favorite piece or work as a freelance writer. He's going to appear on the cover of my upcoming sabermetrics book and yes he'll be wearing a Tigers uniform.
At my age, I don't tend to get emotionally attached to players anymore. Not since Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell. Grandrerson was a rare player who raised my Tigers fandom to a new height. I'm one of the biggest numbers guys you'll find but Granderson transcends numbers in my mind. I'm saving the analysis of this deal for later because it's difficult to separate analysis from emotions here.
Good luck Curtis. We'll miss you.