From Left Field: Mets Have No Luck With Free Agents

An article by posted on April 23, 2014 0 Comments

MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

We’ve played about a month of the season, and already the Mets’ prized free agent of the offseason – Curtis Granderson – has appeared lost at the plate.

As a Met fan, I understand what patience truly is, but Granderson’s struggles are certainly alarming for a player who has not only experienced success but has also done so in New York.

With a $15 million per year price tag, Granderson is going to play every day. If that’s the case, please Terry, get him out of the No. 2 hole. All he does is kill rallies, so I’d say bat him sixth or seventh until he figures it out.

Granderson’s slow start in Flushing got me thinking that this organization really has no luck when it comes to bringing in high-profile free agents.

From Vince Coleman, to Bobby Bonilla, to Kaz Matsui and of course to Jason Bay – arguably the worst of them all – good players sometimes forget how to play when they arrive here.

Some guys, like Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, were traded to the Mets before flopping completely.

And other guys, like Pedro Martinez, Frankie Rodriguez and Johan Santana, were productive for a time but will always be remembered for their injuries in New York.

Really, the only guys I can think of that played well after a free-agent contract were Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran.

Piazza of course was acquired via trade and would sign a seven-year, $91 million contract. Sure, he wasn’t the same player the final few years, but his production during the prime of his Mets career lived up to that contract.

As for Beltran, he may have gotten off to a slow start after signing a seven-year, $119 million, but he very quietly put together a solid Mets career. The strikeout against Adam Wainwright may cast a dark cloud over his Mets legacy, but he did have some good years in orange and blue.

It’s an unfortunate trend that the Mets have had so much trouble striking gold on the free-agent market. If things don’t turn around for Granderson, he could be next on the long list of Mets free-agent flops.

But luckily for Curtis, his Mets tenure has just begun. Guys go through slumps to start a season all the time. Keep in mind, he missed most of last year, so he’s still trying to rediscover his stroke.

Frankly, I don’t even care about the low batting average or the strikeouts as long as he’s driving in runs. He’s not all of a sudden going to transform into a .300 hitter.

It’s all about making productive outs and driving in runs when given the opportunity. Striking out with runners on second and third and nobody is unacceptable, especially for a middle of the order type hitter.

Since the other Mets are struggling offensively as well, Granderson’s woes are that much more noticeable, since he was brought in to give some stability to the offense and some protection behind David Wright.

For Granderson, I’ve already been hearing the Jason Bay comparisons. Through the first few weeks, “The Grandyman Can’t,” but he still has some time before a change is necessary.

It’s not like Bobby Abreu is going to be playing right field every day…

About the Author ()

Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Be sure to visit http://www.jimmancari.com/