New Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson crushed the Red Sox in the season's opening series with two homers, including one in the 10th inning on Wednesday that led to a 3-1 Yankees win. How different might things have been had Granderson ended up in Boston this offseason?
It's not as crazy as it might sound.
After the 2009 campaign, the Tigers let it be known that they were shopping the speedy Granderson, who has averaged .273 with 24 homers and 70 RBIs during his four full big-league seasons. The Red Sox, like any other sane team with some money to spend, expressed some interest.
According to the Boston Herald, the Tigers were interested in either a center fielder or a starting pitcher in return. Detroit reportedly brought up Jacoby Ellsbury as their main interest in one potential deal, and another involved Clay Buchholz as the main piece heading out of Boston, but the Red Sox balked.
Throughout the process, the now-29-year-old Granderson had no idea where he'd land.
"I literally thought I was going to be going to the Cubs," Granderson told the Herald. "That's the way all the papers read back in my hometown [of Blue Island, Ill., a suburb of Chicago]. The Tribune and the Sun-Times had me yanked in to move over there. All my friends and family who are Cubs fans were ready to start buying the jerseys, but sure enough, you can't read too much into it until it happens. The Yankees were actually one of the least on the list, and that's where I ended up."
Granderson had no idea that the Red Sox had been in the mix to trade for him until a reporter told him on Wednesday, but he didn't seem altogether put off by the idea, an oddity for a player wearing pinstripes.
"There's a great tradition here [in Boston]," he said. "You know there's going to be a sellout every night, and every game I've played here since 2005 has been enjoyable."
One current member of the Red Sox who would have been giddy to see Granderson in his own locker room is closer Jonathan Papelbon, who surrendered the Yankee's 10th-inning bomb on Wednesday.
"It seems like I've made a few mistakes to Granderson, man," Papelbon said. "He's the type of hitter, you make mistakes, he's going to make you pay."