Let's begin by determining Granderson's 2009 xBABIP. Granderson hit .249/.327/.453 with a .276 BABIP. THT's xBABIP calculator (screenshot to the right) puts Granderson's 2009 xBABIP at .301. Granderson's career BABIP is .323, but his speed score has been down each of the last two seasons and almost half of his hits were flyballs last year (xBABIP for flyballs is .138). Thus a .301 xBABIP makes sense, despite the 21.2 LD%.
Using ESPN's park factor adjustments, we can now convert Granderson's luck-neutral line at Comerica into a luck-neutral line at New Yankee Stadium. First, lets start with the home run totals. According to ESPN's park factor data, Comerica Park depressed home runs by 3.6%, while Yankee Stadium inflated them by 26.1%. Taking Curtis Granderson's 30 home run total at Comerica as the baseline, Granderson's xHR total at New Yankee Stadium would be approximately 39. Accordingly, Granderson's xHit total at New Yankee Stadium would rise to 175. These additional six hits would come at the expense of three doubles and four triples. Thus, Granderson would gain nine homers and four singles by moving to New Yankee Stadium. According to ESPN's park factor data, Granderson would also gain five walks from his change of scenery. Thus, Curtis Granderson's luck-neutralized 2009 line, if he played for the Yankees rather than the Tigers last season, would have been .277/.364/.522 (.886 OPS).
By contrast, Johnny Damon, eight years Granderson's senior, hit .282/.365/.489 (.854 OPS) with 24 homers. It is also worth noting three additional points. First, Damon's UZR/150 last season was -12.1 in LF, while Granderon's posted a +1.6 UZR/150 in CF. Second, Johnny Damon has not once played in even 150 games since 2004. Granderson, by contrast, has played in 155+ games in three of his four major league seasons (he played in 141 games during his injured 2008 season). Finally, Curtis Granderson is owed $25.75 million through 2012 (including a $2 million buy out for 2013), while he can be had for an additional $11 million in 2013. On the other hand, Johnny Damon was paid $13 million last year and is looking for his last lucrative major league contract before he is too old to command a contract of both satisfactory length and pay. Even if Damon was willing to take a pay cut to come back to the Yankees for three years, $30 million, Granderson is the better, younger, and cheaper player.
The Yankees made out big in this trade. They upgraded their 25 man roster by trading a high-potential starting pitcher with no room on the major league roster and a highly fungible reliever for one of the game's best value OFs. In addition, they gained a lot of negotiating leverage in the free agency market because they know that they can stand pat with who they have now (having re-signed Pettite earlier today) and be at least as competitive as they were in 2009 (especially with a healthy A-Rod). The Yankees are primed to repeat as not only the best team in the NL East, but the AL. I would not be surprised to see them in the World Series again in 2010. And the scary part? They will still have payroll room (compared to 2008 and 2009) to add any necessary pieces at the trade deadline.
Alas, I digress. Returning to the forecasting front, Granderson's luck-neutral 2009 numbers translate into a .277/.364/.522 (.886 OPS) triple slash line if he were a Yankee last year. Granderson would have, in theory, drawn 77 walks, hit 20 doubles, 4 triples, 39 homers and 112 singles. Below are Curtis Granderson's home run scatterplot charts from 2007-2009 (click to enlarge).
As you can tell from the above data, 60 of Granderson's previous 73 home runs went to right field. Given New Yankee Stadium's cozy right-field porch (same with Fenway), Granderson seems almost a lock for 35+ home runs next season despite his two-year decline in ISO. Why? If for no other reason than the fact that Granderson's ISO at home (.190) is a full 42 points lower than it is away from Comerica Park (.232). Furthermore, Curtis Granderson turns 29 next year. He is in his prime and it's not unreasonable to expect him to maintain his +.200 ISO ways for the duration of his current contract (through his 32 age year, if the Yankees pick up his 2013 option). With a 30-35+ home run and double digit (closer to twenty) stolen base expectations and a reasonable BA rebound to the .275 range, Curtis Granderson should be a top 10 OF next season. Put in the right part of the order, Granderson will also have 100 R/100 RBI potential. Rather than waste top dollar on great, but overvalued commodities like Kemp, Ellsbury and Braun next season, why not take a look at Granderson? I promise you won't be disappointed.