By Dan Lagnado
With the recent news that Curtis Granderson is meeting with the Mets, we weigh the pros and the cons in this two-part series. To see the pros, click here.
If there is one thing that Mets fans want this offseason, it’s for Sandy Alderson to spend the money that everyone claims that the Mets have. It was recently learned that free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson will be meeting with team officials. Many fans on hearing this news probably uttered something like, “ugh finally it’s about time they signed a free agent”. Of course it’s important to note that this is not an indicator that a deal is imminent. However there have been a few people who have predicted Queens to be a potential landing spot for Granderson. He is not terribly expensive and fills a position of dire need for the Mets, the outfield, as well as providing a power bat in the middle of an anemic lineup.
All that said, this signing, should it happen, is not an indicator of clear skies to come. First, Granderson will turn 33 next season and probably expects to get a multi-year deal. Will Granderson still be able to play the outfield at a high level at age 36 or 37? Next, Granderson would still need to figure out the transition to a corner outfield spot. This is not confirmed of course, but I would presume that the Mets would like to keep Juan Lagares in centerfield after the spectacular defensive numbers he put up last year. In his limited playing time last season (Granderson missed 101 games with injuries) Grandy still logged more innings in center than in left or right field combined. In addition, the Mets are pursuing Granderson most likely for his power as a hitter. He had two consecutive seasons with 40+ homeruns and 100+ RBI in the Bronx in 2011 and 2012. However he was aided by the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, and Citi Field is a significantly larger ballpark. Finally, in his last full season in 2012, he played to his lowest WAR (wins above replacement) ever (the exception being 2004 and 2005 where he only played 56 combined games). It may be better for the Mets to look elsewhere in free agency or perhaps to make a trade for an outfielder. Many people have reported that the Mets have been active in talks and so obtaining an outfielder could be easy enough to do.
Given these statistics it is easy for disgruntled and pessimistic Mets fans to see the potential for another free agent bust being paid more than he deserves. We will just have to wait to see how it plays out.
Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995