Give me Swisher, Gardner over Granderson 

May, 28, 2010
The New York Yankees are ready to welcome Curtis Granderson back to their lineup just in time for Memorial Day weekend, which is great news for a team that needs the run production. The Yankees enter Friday's game in Cleveland having scored only 15 runs in their past six games. That might not be a Philadelphia Phillies-like swoon, but in New York, this is a big deal, and the Yankees' fans are concerned.

Granderson certainly is an improvement over whom the Yankees have been playing in the outfield -- Kevin Russo, Randy Winn, Marcus Thames -- but I get the feeling fantasy owners are expecting big things from the former Tiger. Granderson last played May 1, yet he's still owned in 97.9 percent of ESPN standard (10-team) mixed leagues, and in many cases, a player of his ilk would be heavily dropped, then added in time for him to come off the DL. Granderson was dropped in precious few leagues. Incidentally, Nick Swisher is owned in fewer leagues, and it took more than a month for Brett Gardner to get to 100 percent owned.

Curtis Granderson
Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMICurtis Granderson has been out since May 1 because of a groin injury.
I'm not ready to alter my preseason predictions for the affable Granderson in a positive direction, after I wrote back in February that a 35-home run season was well within his reach, albeit at the expense of his other numbers. He doesn't have enough time to hit that many home runs now, but the skill set remains. That said, after watching Gardner's emergence and Swisher's impressive maturation, I think each of them is more valuable than Granderson. I'll say that again: I'd rather have Swisher and Gardner, in part because I know how much everyone seems to love Granderson. Expectations are higher, thus he would seem like the one to trade, before his .225 batting average adds another 100 at-bats to it.