Curtis Granderson can still help the Yankees in 2013 and 2014

USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Granderson might not be back until August, meaning that if the Yankees are sellers, they won't be getting anything for him and if they're buyers they're buying from a place of weakness. Having a healthy Granderson would be good leverage to have against any team trying to get all they can out of the desperate Yankees, but maybe it actually strengthens the team for 2014.

If Granderson misses all but two months of the season it could greatly diminish his value on the open market, or at least not allow it to be as strong as it could be. Going into the season it was obvious he would sign elsewhere and the Yankees could offer a qualifying offer in order to get a draft pick out of losing him, but now that scenario might not be so inevitable.

This is Granderson's first brush with free agency and, at 32, this could be his last chance to get a highly lucrative contract. Missing most of the season will allow courting teams to low ball him in an attempt to diminish his value and get a bargain, so he could be inclined to accept the Yankees' qualifying offer of around $13 million and try again in another year. Granderson is making $15 million this season, so it wouldn't be too much of a drop off for him not to consider it.

If he accepts, the Yankees would get another year out of him for right in between what they paid him in 2012 and what he's making now. Usually this is a bad thing, but for someone like Granderson it would be a bargain. If he declines, they get another draft pick, which is something they have valued more than past seasons after collecting three first round picks this year. Either way the Yankees don't lose. It would be nice to get a good haul for him or to be able to acquire from a place of strength, but it's not the end of the world; they could always end up trying again next season.

Of course, Granderson might just take his chances and see that he has more value as a 32-year-old free agent than a 33-year-old free agent, so what ultimately ends up happening is still very much up in the air. The only thing it guarantees is that the Yankees won't be getting any young MLB-ready talent out of him this season.

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