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11/26/07 1:14 PM ET

Mailbag: Granderson and the MVP

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers Tigers fans' questions

I just don't get it. Jimmy Rollins had a great season for the Phillies, all-around great numbers and won the MVP. But, Curtis Granderson posted very similar numbers, and the same type of glove, but got very little credit with the MVP race. Is this because of Magglio Ordonez getting the attention for the Tigers, or is it a case of Detroit being a goat?
-- Darrell M., Warren, Mich.

You're talking about two different situations in two different leagues. In the American League, there was Alex Rodriguez, then Magglio Ordonez, then everybody else, and Granderson was lost in the shuffle. He arguably had a good case to finish higher than he did, but he wasn't going to be in the top three, not in this league and this season.

Rollins was leading off for a team that reached the postseason, he's a more established player, and he was seen as the biggest contributor to his team's offense. Add to that the fact that he also had bigger numbers in the glamour categories -- runs scored, home runs and RBIs -- and he had a stronger case in the National League.

Granderson had a great 2007 season. One of his amazing stats is that he was successful in 26 of 27 steal attempts. Has anyone ever had a better steal percentage with at least 20 or 25 steals?
-- Bob O., Macedon, N.Y.

In the years before the homer era, many, many players stole 25 or more bases without being caught at all. Since Sam Jethroe's 35-for-35 season in 1950, however, nobody has done it, and just four players have stolen at least 25 bases while being caught just once, according to research on baseball-reference.com. Carlos Beltran in 2001 and Brady Anderson in 1994 both went 31-for-32, while Granderson's 26-for-27 efficiency tied him with Pittsburgh's Chris Duffy from 2006.

With the Rule 5 Draft right around the corner, could the delay in signing Kenny Rogers be for the purpose of not having to make room for him on the 40-man roster? They both may gain from not risking losing another prospect.
-- Greg S., Marysville, Mich.

It could end up a side benefit if it happens to take that long, but the Tigers would not have a big problem creating room for Rogers on the 40-man roster beforehand.

How likely is it that we will see Johan Santana playing in the AL Central in the spring? Initially, I was excited by the prospect of seeing him go, but after evaluating what the Twins would likely receive, I'm not so sure.
-- Bob H., Muskegon, Mich.

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That's probably the biggest question around baseball right now, and there's no obvious answer yet. From a prospect standpoint, it'll be almost impossible to get fair value in return for Santana, and recent reports suggest the Twins could want a proven quality player back in addition to several prospects. On the other hand, the Twins will receive just a couple Draft picks as their return for the departure of free agent Torii Hunter, whom they could have traded during the season or a year ago. The Draft picks arguably aren't a bad return for Hunter, but with Santana, obviously, they could get more by dealing him. It's a matter of how much is enough to justify doing it.

With Carlos Guillen moving to first, will Ivan Rodriguez get any time there next year or is that experiment over?
-- Jason G., Bloomington, Minn.

No. Unless a need for a backup first baseman comes up, that experiment appears pretty much over.

I am really having a tough time with the Tigers' commitment to Cameron Maybin. I feel like I am hearing the same propaganda that was spewn when the likes of Juan Encarnacion and Gabe Kapler were climbing up the organizational ladder. Granted, they both had some productive moments, but neither were remotely a superstar as predicted. Tell me I am wrong, buy why not trade a prospect for a sure thing?
-- Matt, Grand Haven, Mich.

First, I think the comparisons are a little different. Maybin is a different type of athlete than Encarnacion and Kapler, and the acclaim for Maybin is pretty much universal. Second, if the Tigers still have hope of contending year in and year out, they have to hold onto their top prospects. Trade Maybin and Andrew Miller, and Detroit becomes much more of an aging team with a short window in which to win and another stretch of losing seasons potentially a few years down the road. It's about the philosophy as much as the player.

Whatever happened to the player to be named from St. Louis in exchange for Mike Maroth?
-- Douglas C., Martin, Tenn.

Former first-round pick Chris Lambert went from the Cardinals to the Tigers near the end of August. The 24-year-old right-hander made one start at Triple-A Toledo and tossed six scoreless innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts, finishing out his 2007 season with a 1-6 record and 5.80 ERA between the Triple-A and Double-A levels.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.