This weekend, some of the Mets blogosphere were busy opining the Mets potential pursuit of either Carl Crawford or Curt Granderson, both of whom were rumored to be candidates for trades. Both rumors have since been shot down, but that’s how the rumor mill works sometimes. News can turn on a dime.
On this slow Mets news day, for the sake of entertainment, let us assume that both these players are available. Which of them would be a better fit on the Mets?
On the one hand, you have Carl Crawford of the Tampa Rays.
The 28-year old leftfielder owns a lifetime .298 batting average and batted .309 this past season. He had a career high 60 stolen bases and has led the league in that category four times.
The three-time All Star has also led the league in triples three times and has had 90 or more runs scored four times, including this season when he crossed the plate 98 times.
According to Baseball Reference, Crawford has averaged 28 doubles, 14 triples and 13 homers in his eight year career with a .295 BA / .335 OBP / .437 SLG.
For those of you who value WAR, Crawford checks in with a 5.5. In the field, Crawford excels with a UZR of 17.5 and a UZR/150 of 17.6.
Then we have Curtis Granderson.
The aspiring star of the Detroit Tigers is also 28 and just finished his fourth full season in the majors. Unlike Crawford who is blessed with amazing speed, Granderson is not exactly a slouch and has averaged a modest 15 stolen bases per season, and even led the league in triples himself twice.
He only batted .247 in 2010, but some would look past that and take note that his on-base percentage is a notch better than Crawford. (.344 v .335) Granderson strikes out a lot and once swung and missed 174 times to lead the league in his first full season. Last year he whiffed 141 times.
The one thing Granderson convincingly has over Crawford is his enormous power which continues to grow. Last season he hit a career high 30 homers after swatting 23 and 23 big flies in the two years prior.
His career slugging percentage stands at .484. He had a 3.4 WAR last season. Defensively, Granderson played mostly centerfield for the Tigers and had a UZR and UZR/150 of 1.9, a significant improvement over the prior season when he finished with a -9.4. That said, those who watch Granderson everyday will tell you he is a human highlight reel in the outfield.
According to Baseball Reference, Granderson has averaged 30 doubles, 14 triples, 25 homeruns, 105 runs and 72 RBI per season. That’s a heck of an average season.
Although both of these gifted players would represent major upgrades in leftfield for the Mets, which one really represents what the Mets need most?
Would you be happier with another top of the order hitter to join Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo, or more of a power hitter who could bat behind Carlos Beltran?
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of them. But if I had the final say, I would probably choose Granderson in this case.
Also, just because both rumors suggesting their availability have been debunked, it’s no secret that both teams may be cutting payroll next season. Most teams will not admit to having a player on the block because it creates bad feelings if they ultimately choose to keep the player or can’t move him. Especially when those players are fan favorites like Crawford and Granderson are. So just because they say they are not on the block, it doesn’t always mean they are not being shopped or taking offers.