Aug 25, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Curtis Granderson (14) hits go ahead RBI during the eleventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thoughts On Granderson And The Mets


After he declined the Yankees’ qualifying offer this week, Curtis Granderson officially became a free agent. His name is being linked to the Mets, who are looking to add power and outfielders for 2014. Earlier this week, there were rumors that the Mets were very interested in Granderson. Those rumors were later refuted by a statement from an anonymous Mets source, who indicated that any talk of interest in Granderson has been overstated. Here are some thoughts on pros and cons of signing Granderson.

The Case For Granderson:

The Mets need power, and well, Granderson has it. Last year was an injury-plagued campaign for Granderson, during which he hit 7 home runs in only 214 at-bats. In his three prior seaosns with the Yankees, Granderson hit 24 (2010), 41 (2011), and 43 (2012) home runs. His numbers may be somewhat skewed by the short dimensions at Yankee Stadium. Looking back at his seasons in Detroit (far more similar to Citi Field than Yankee Stadium), Granderson averaged 24 home runs per season over 4 full years. However, on a power-starved team like the Mets, those home run numbers would look good, even if he ends up somewhere in the middle of his Detroit and New York statistics. Granderson also plays good defense (primarily centerfield), with a career UZR of 3.9 (placing him close to “above average.”) The Mets have been aggressive on the bases, and Granderson would not hurt that philosophy. He averages approximately 17 stolen bases per year, and has a success rate of 77%.

The Case Against Granderson:

Let’s start here: Granderson strikes out often, and this is not consistent with the Mets’ OBP philosophy. In fact, Granderson averages 159 strikeouts per season over his 10-year career. Looking at that a little more deeply, Granderson, in his career, has swung at approximately 41% of the pitches he sees, and has missed on 54% of those swings. His career OBP is a respectable .340, with an average of 70 walks per season. However, Sandy Alderson said on Friday that the team’s approach is to get into hitter’s counts, and with that said, Granderson does not seem to align. Curtis is a career .261 hitter, which isn’t all that bad, but may be somewhat short of what the Mets may be looking for from a new outfielder. Additional factors working against Granderson will be his contract demands, and his age. Curtis made $15 million last season at age 32, and will likely be seeking more than that per season over 3-4 years. For 2014, $15 million would equate to close to half of what Alderson has to spend, and he’d still have many holes to fill.

Opinion:

I think Granderson is an ideal fit for the Mets. Yes, he does have a hitting approach that may not be in tune with the team’s mantra. However, he brings much-needed power, and a demonstrated ability to perform in New York. While he would command significant dollars, the Mets could use the trade route to fill other key holes (such as acquiring a mid-level outfielder and shortstop). They could use their remaining money to add a veteran pitcher, a reliever, and backup catcher (though I like Anthony Recker.) This week, we heard the Mets say that they want to add “nice guys” this off-season. Granderson is a very good fit in this regard. He’s very involved in charity work, and has led several such causes in New York. As fans, we have to accept the reality that the Mets will not be adding All-Stars with every new player for 2014. However, it’s fair to expect to have one solid centerpiece acquisition, and add around that player. I say let’s make Granderson the centerpiece for the “new faces” that Sandy Alderson referred to in his interviews on Friday.

What do you think?

 

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Tags: Curtis Granderson New York Mets

  • Joe.02

    If, as you suggest, that they also get a “mid-level” OF and SS with him, this would be a decent haul along with a journeyman type starter and a reliever with the remainder some spare parts. I honestly am about at my wit’s end with 1B, but this should be okay — you are after all getting two OFs under this rubric. If instead they get him and SS plus a 1b, that might work too.

    • chums41

      What about James Loney? Apparently, the expected deal for him is 2 years $16mm. That’s pretty cheap for an upper echelon fielder who can hit .290.

    • Joe.02

      As part of a set of acquisitions, that sounds reasonable.

  • http://www.convertedmetsfan.blogspot.com Sam Maxwell

    I haven’t decided whether or not I’d like this move if it were made. The strikeouts worry me, especially when thinking about them in terms of the rich pitching he’d be facing in the National League. At the same time, he’s been on winners his whole career basically with DET and NYY. If the move were made, I’d probably come around to being a big fan of it, and I have a feeling he’d perform well and maybe even better with the Mets, and maybe his philosophy at the plate changes somewhat under Hudgens and the Mets stressing getting on base. It is an interesting move to debate, no doubt.

  • chums41

    In order to properly evaluate Granderson, we would need to track the distance of his HR’s (I’m sure a group as sophisticated as the Mets front office must have this capability), to insure his HR’s would not be warning track fly-outs at Citi. Further, if you annualize his last seasons K’s, his 2013 K total would have been 160, producing a 3 year average of 174K’s/season. That’s a lot of K’s! Even if the HR totals are largely transferable to Citi, good pitchers will be glad to pitch around Wright to get to Granderson. Choo, on the other hand, does provide lineup protection, because he can flat out hit and will seldom kill a rally due to a lack of plate discipline.

    • Herb G

      According to HitTracker Online data, tweeted by @TheNotoriousT0m on Twitter, 32 of Granderson’s 41 home runs in 2011 would have also been home runs in Citi Field, while 33 of 43 would have been home runs in 2012. I have very mixed feelings about Granderson. Not so much for his strikeouts. He doesn’t hit for average, and his OBP which was satisfactory in the past, dropped significantly in 2012 and the injurryy shoortened 2013. I’d rather hav Choo, but he wouldn’t protect Wright since he would probably lead off. If Sandy does not go after Choo or if he fails to get him, Granderson would be a very acceptable Plan B.

    • chums41

      excellent point