Coming off the recent busy activity throughout Major League Baseball — which included an abundant number of trades and a number of major free-agent signings, such as Robinson Cano agreeing to terms with the Seattle Mariners on a ten-year, $240 million deal — the Mets have finally joined the headlines. According to multiple reports, the New York Mets have agreed to sign outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. Although it’s refreshing to hear the Mets acquire significant, well-establish talent, it should be noted that Granderson should not be the sole prized piece for the Mets organization this offseason, but rather the first of few building blocks to help construct a contending team.
It had been reported that Granderson was holding out in search of a guaranteed four-year deal. Well, the Mets showed a willingness to overspend and ink the talented outfielder to a multi-year deal. While Granderson is a welcome addition to the Mets organization and fan base, it’s no secret the Mets have multiple holes to fill. It’s not expected for the Mets to address every single need in one offseason, but more needs to be done to build a contender for the future. I am very much in favor of the Mets signing Granderson, as I think he fits the needs of the current team — speed, power, solid defense in the outfield and most importantly the ability to handle New York — but Granderson shouldn’t be the main protection in the starting lineup for David Wright manger Terry Collins eluded to earlier this offseason.
While signing a former All-Star like Granderson will send the fan base the much desired message of reinvesting to compile a competitive team for the near future, more assets need to be acquire to get this big market team back on track. As fans, we have suffered year after year seeing subpar talent added to this organization mainly because of budget constraints. Needless to say, the organization has seen a sizable portion (roughly $50 million) of team payroll — thanks to the contracts of Jason Bay, Johan Santana and Frank Francisco — finally come off the books.
It has been reported that only $25-30 million will be in reinvested into the 2014 payroll. If this holds true, the Mets will not have much left over to fill the multiple positions needed to bolster this current anemic offense. Less than two weeks ago, the Mets also inked outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million dollar deal. Now that the Mets signed Granderson to a contract that includes an annual value of $15 million per season, Alderson may have at most approximately $8 million remaining to spend this offseason. Now factor in the arbitration-eligible players in line for a pay raise, that results in no wiggle room in terms of extra spending to build the 2014 Mets, at least in terms of payroll.
There are still ways to improve this franchise, and that’s by being creative and proactive on the trade market. Winter Meetings are only a few days away, and I expect Alderson to talk to any team regarding almost every prospect — except Noah Syndergaard —in an effort to expedite the process of making this Mets a contender in the National League East. In my opinion, Alderson should consider trading highly touted prospect Travis d’Arnaud in a package to bring in more impact players. Outside of Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Wright — no one should be considered as an untouchable asset. I am confident a package of players that includes prospect Rafael Montero, d’Arnaud, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and Eric Young Jr., should bring back a respectable return of players that can make an impact right away. If Murphy is dealt this offseason, Young Jr. could potentially fill in at second base. Although a speedy outfielder, Young Jr. came up as a second baseman in the Colorado Rockies farm system.
I am a fan of Granderson joining the Mets. As the deal shows us — the fan base — the organization is serious about investing to build a competitive team. Furthermore, it sends signals around the league that ownership is serious about turning the franchise around. Adding Granderson is a nice fit for the Mets, but more pieces need to be added. Alderson still has his work cut out for him, but with the Winter Meetings around the corner, we can only hope Alderson is well aware that adding Granderson is only the beginning in making the Mets relevant again.