Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine0
Breaking Down Curtis Granderson and the Mets
The New York Mets have been heavily linked with free agent OF Curtis Granderson as the club has “zeroed in” on the former Yankee. The Mets have been a likely suitor for Granderson, who has expressed interest remaining in New York. The power-hitting outfielder is reportedly “scrambling” to secure a four-year commitment, and it appears the Mets may be willing to offer him the deal under the right circumstances.
The Mets will likely overpay for the veteran, but the signing shouldn’t mirror Jason Bay’s albatross. Since donning pinstripes, Granderson’s home/road splits have been relatively even, suggesting that he isn’t a product of Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch. In Granderson’s 6.7 fWAR 2011 season he hit .263/.369/.543 on the road, a line that represents only a marginal drop in slugging compared to his Yankee Stadium numbers.
Granderson would likely slot into Citi Field’s cavernous right field, a position he should handle more efficiently than Marlon Byrd, Lucas Duda, and Carlos Beltran before him. The three-time All-Star hasn’t played much right field in his career -only 85 innings to be exact- but UZR/150 seemed to like him at the position. UZR/150 isn’t typically the greatest measure of defensive capability over small sample sizes, but it’s the only frame of reference for Granderson.
That’s not to say there’s no risk in signing Granderson. He notched 195 strikeouts in 2012, or in 28.5% of his at bats, and whiffed 28.2% of the time in his shortened 2013. As the speedy outfielder looks toward his age 33 season, a natural decline should accompany the player. Steamer predicts Granderson will slash .233/.326/.442 in 138 games while lowering his strikeout percentage and seeing an uptick in walks. The numbers are a significant upgrade over the Mets internal outfield options, but the projected production is still a significant decline from the club’s 2013 output at the position. Byrd hit .285/.330/.518 in 117 games for the Mets last year for significantly less money, and adding Granderson may just put the club on par with last year’s production.
Granderson will improve the current club, but will he make enough of a difference to push the club to the next level? It’s unlikely, but it’s certainly a move in the right direction for a franchise in desperate need of a renaissance.
Do you want to see the Mets ink Granderson to a three or four year contract, or would you rather the club explore other options?
Photo Credit: Michael Baron