Within minutes after I wrote this post this morning, Ken Rosenthal quoted Curtis Granderson who said his morning in an interview, that his number one goal this offseason was to sign with a winning team.
That’s not something you often hear from a free agent, but would he be willing to accept a lesser contract to be on a winning team?
To some free agents the answer is yes. We see it all the time…
But to the majority it’s usually just posturing and letting the “non winning” teams know that it will require a major overpay for him to come play for your team.
I can tell you all one thing with absolute certainty…
Sandy Alderson will not overpay for any free agent.
After a whirlwind first day at the GM Meetings, one constant seemed to rise above all else, and that it that Curtis Granderson is clearly on the Mets radar and that it’s more than just a passing interest.
Granderson, who turned down the Yankees’ one-year qualifying offer on Monday, won’t command an $100 million dollar deal and there a sense that he won’t get more than a three year deal or four years at the most. In other words qualities that are very attractive to Sandy Alderson and company.
Yesterday, Mets assistant GM John Ricco confirmed that the team has had preliminary talks with Granderson’s agent and while they do plan on a formal meeting to discuss dollars and years, nothing has been scheduled yet.
Last week, Andy Martino of the Daily News spoke to two people familiar with the Mets’ thinking who said that the Mets have expressed preliminary interest in Granderson, however their level of seriousness will all depend on how the market develops.
And therein lies the problem. The Mets can play this two ways; they can do their usual which means waiting everything out until it’s comfortable to wade into the water, or they can set the market and in one fell swoop strike a bold move while at the same time sending a message to fans that this time the Mets mean business.
There will be no bargains this offseason as all teams are flush with a $50 million dollar National TV cash infusion. That means every player will likely get overpaid as they always do when the spending pool is as large as it is this Winter. MLB teams have $1.5 billion to spend this offseason, and teams that want to see how the market develops will likely be the big losers.
Granderson, 32, will have plenty of teams in hot pursuit because he’s only seeking a 3-4 year deal. Both the Cubs and the White Sox have already expressed interest in Granderson who has already expressed a desire to play for his hometown.
After solid campaigns in 2011 and 2012 in which he clubbed 40+ home runs consecutively, Granderson slashed at .220/.317/.407 in 61 games last season with a 97 wRC+, .319 wOBA, and a 1.4 fWAR.
What appeals to me about Granderson is his team-first attitude which would fit right in with the rest of the Mets clubhouse. But he is coming off an injury plagued season and that represents a big risk for the near $50 million he could end up getting. That said, the home run power potential is definitely there and at some point in the Alderson Era, the front office has to prove they have the guts to take a calculated risk – something they have until now always shied away from.
The Mets have a chance to make a bold move that will define this offseason in a positive way and grab the attention of Met fans that have become disconnected from his process. Alderson said he plans to be aggressive this Winter, something many believe he is incapable of. Here’s his chance.