Browsing Posts tagged Curtis Granderson

For the first time in four years, the New York Mets opened their wallets and signed an impact free agent. Ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract that will occur during Granderson’s Age 33-36 seasons. This signing gives the Mets a power hitting corner outfielder that will help jump start the Met offense. Stop me if you’ve read something like this before.

Nearly four years ago, the Mets and left fielder, Jason Bay agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract. Prior to signing the contract, the 30-year-old Bay was coming off a huge season with the Boston Red Sox where he slugged 36 home runs and drove in 119 RBIs. Met fans were convinced that Bay and David Wright would bolster the middle of the Met batting order. However, Bay only appeared in 288 games as a Met and slugged 31 total home runs. This contract was a huge disappointment to say the least.

When assessing Granderson, a few red flags immediately come to mind:

  1. Park Changes: Granderson is leaving the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium for Citi Field. According to Fangraphs, Yankee Stadium boosts left-handed power numbers by 14 percent while Citi Field only boosts these numbers by one percent. Granderson does have three 30+ home run seasons under his belt including one with Detroit in 2009. Will the spacious Citi Field affect his power output? The park factors say ‘yes’.
  2. Injuries: After getting hit by a pitch in the wrist during Spring Training, Granderson missed months of action and never developed any sort of rhythm. Granderson played in a career low 61 games and only hit 7 home runs. The Mets must be convinced that his wrist injury is not longer an issue. However, he’s not coming off a monster season like Jason Bay was and he never found his stroke during 2013.
  3.  The Yankees: It’s pretty telling when a player’s previous team doesn’t make an offer. The Yankees have spent over $200 million on free agent outfielders not named Curtis Granderson. Hell, the Yankees signed Carlos Beltran, who is five years older than Granderson. Over the last few seasons, Granderson’s strikeout percentage has steadily increased while his on-base percentage is declining. This is not a recipe for success.

Despite his obvious flaws, Granderson has shown he’s athletic enough to play multiple outfield positions. Juan Lagares is slated to start in center field, so Granderson will likely man left field. Granderson isn’t much of a base stealer anymore, but he is one of the game’s most astute base runners. Like I noted in the Jacoby Ellsbury article, speed tends to age well and an athlete of Granderson’s caliber is less likely to hit the wall.

Heading into 2014, projections are calling for Granderson to net 2.5-to-3 wins. If we value a win at $7.0 million, Granderson’s projected value outweighs his $13 million salary. However, the Mets have backloaded his  contract so they’ll take on more risk in Years 3 and 4. On the surface, Granderson presents a tremendous upgrade for the Met outfield.  However, there are some obvious red flags that must be considered and monitored.

The Granderson signing gives ownership and Sandy Alderson an extra week or so to plan their next move. The Mets are still far from being a competitive team, but this signing provides some hope for the future of the team. Add in Granderson’s off-the-field impact and the Mets have the potential for a big time signing. As long as he’s healthy, Granderson won’t be Jason Bay 2.0.

It’s been a difficult offseason for Yankee fans. Derek Jeter broke his ankle, but should return for Spring Training. Alex Rodriguez, who is undergoing hip surgery, will miss at least half of 2013. Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, and Andruw Jones, who combined to hit 94 home runs, signed elsewhere. Rafael Soriano, who saved 42 games, is also expected to sign elsewhere. For better or worse, the Yankees were not linked to any top free agents. The Yankee brass is committed to spending less than baseball’s $189 million luxury tax threshold by 2014, so free agent spending sprees are off the table.

Brian Cashman always emphasizes the importance of keeping his ‘core’ together, so four key pieces were re-signed to team friendly deals. Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda signed one-year deals while Ichrio Suzuki signed a two-year deal. These deals should help the Yankees win in 2013, but each player is over 40-years-old and adds little value to the future of the team.

The Yankees are one of the oldest teams in baseball, but still boast some of the game’s best players. Jeter and Ichiro will set the table for Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson. CC Sabathia will be supported by Kuroda, Pettitte, and Phil Hughes in the starting rotation. Mariano Rivera and David Robertson will lock down the backend of the bullpen. This core won 95 games last season, so anything less will be a failure.

While the Yankees boast a strong core, many are questioning their complementary parts. As of today, the Yankees have not named a starting catcher or designated hitter. Cashman will not sign a free agent catcher, so expect a combination of Francisco Cervelli-Chris Stewart-Austin Romine to start. Kevin Youkilis will start at third base, but he was signed as A-Rod’s caddy. The Yankees will need Youkilis to play third base and DH, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. If Youkilis suffers another injury, will the team trust Eduardo Nunez to play third base? Nunez is currently the de-facto designated hitter, but Cashman always extends multiple Spring Training invites. The Yankees have a glutton of left handed hitters in its outfield, so expect a right handed bat to join this threesome. Remember, Marcus Thames and Raul Ibanez were signed late and played significant roles. Expect similar moves.

Going into 2013, the Yankees have a very small margin for error. The roster is primarily comprised of older players that may break down. Each AL East foe improved its roster and many are expecting the Toronto Blue Jays to win the division. However, the Yankees boasted baseball’s best run differential and have a roster full of players that have endured October battles. The Yankees continue to pour resources into scouting and player development, but don’t count them out. In terms of player development and a more cost conscious approach, the 2013 season may prove to be a transition year. That doesn’t mean the Yankees are incapable of raising another AL East flag.

It’s hard not to get excited about the 2012 New York Yankees.

Outside of Jorge Posada, the Yankees return every offensive starter from last year’s team that led the American League in home runs. Add in a revamped, younger pitching rotation and bullpen, and the optimism is running high. Through their first two Spring Training games, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez have come out swinging the bat well. Granderson homered off of Cole Hamels on Sunday and A-Rod hit an A-Bomb against Roy Halladay. Granted, these statistics are meaningless, but it’s reassuring to see Grandy picking up where he left off and A-Rod swinging the bat with some authority.

AP Photo

The Yankees have had their share of defensive mistakes. Eduardo Nunez has already committed multiple errors and Freddy Garcia got a bit roughed up, but everyone is working through the off-season kinks.

After a great debut from Michael Pineda, let’s just prepare (and hope for) a long, enjoyable regular season that culminates in putting up Banner #28.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’. I can’t think of a better phrase to describe the Yankee center fielder.

Good Job By Grandy--AP Photo

Known for his great play and calm demeanor, the Grandy Man crushed 41 home runs and drove in 119 runs during the regular season. Despite his excellent regular season accomplishments, Grandy’s biggest play of the season came during the ‘loudest’ time of the year. With bases loaded and two outs in the first inning last night, Grandy made a leaping, uber-athletic play on Don Kelly’screaming line drive. If Granderson doesn’t come down with that ball, the Yankees fall into a 3-0 hole, AJ Burnett’s Yankee career is effectively over, and the fan base kills the manager. Say whatever you want about the offense, pitching, whatever. But if Grandy doesn’t catch that ball, we would all be mourning the 2011 Yankees right now.

Big time players make big time plays. In this instance, the mild-mannered Grandy Man let his glove do the talking.

Game 5. Come Get Some!

TBS’ Brian Anderson put it best: “You have got to tip your cap to AJ Burnett”. Allan James Burnett – scapegoat, head case, and an afterthought – came through with an undeniably clutch start to lead the New York Yankees in a 7-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. With the victory, the Yankees and Tigers are now tied at 2-2 a piece in the best of five series, with the winner advancing to the ALCS to square off the Texas Rangers.

AJ is now AJ - AP

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The Detroit defeated the New York Yankees 5-3 in Game #2 of the American League Divisional Series this afternoon. Miguel Cabrera provided the bulk of the offense for the Tigers with 3 RBI, and the Yankees had no answer for Max Scherzer, who allowed no runs in six innings. With the loss, the series is tied at one apiece as both teams head to Detroit for two games.

One of Those Days - Chris Trotman, Getty Images

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Ivan Nova continues to prove why he’ll take the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS. Tonight, Nova threw eight shutout innings against a desperate Tampa Bay who is clawing to get into the post-season propelling the Yanks to a 5-0 win. Nova scattered six hits en-route to nailing down his 16th win of the season. His season kind of reminds me of Phil Hughes last year, right? Curtis Granderson struck the big blow in the second inning with a three run double. He now has 119 RBIs on the season, tops in the AL. 

A Helluva Start

The Red Sox lost tonight (Yay) so the Yankees magic number falls to three. The Yankees magic number to clinch home field advantage is five, so expect a lot of clinching to happen this weekend against the Red Sox. It may even happen tomorrow night!

What’s Next?: How about two games tomorrow?! The Yankees will play Game 1 at 1:05 and Game 2 at 7:05. Time for Big C to get that elusive 20th win!

Game 1: James Shields (15-11, 2.78 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.60 ERA)

Game 2: Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01 ERA)

Mariano Rivera broke Trevor Hoffman’s all-time save record this afternoon. Is it a big deal to me? No, not really. I know, you know, and everyone else knows that Mariano is the best ever.

Congrats!!!---AP Photo

He just lays claim to another record to his ever growing list of accomplishments. Rivera’s 602rd career save solidified the Yankees 92nd win of the year. With the win and the Red Sox loss, the Yankees sit six games ahead of Boston in the loss column with ten games to go. After the jump, I will berate, A-Joke Burnett.

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Mariano Rivera saved his 601st career game today, tying Trevor Hoffman’s all-time save record. Rivera tossed a perfect ninth inning to preserve a 7-6 victory. Curtis Granderson blasted his 40th homer as  the Yankees record improved to 91-59 on the season. They sport an ML best, 40-11 record in day games. 

#42 Saves His 42nd Game

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The New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this afternoon by a score of 6-5. The Yankees snapped a four-game losing streak as Mariano Rivera saved his 599th career game on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. With the victory, the Yankees move to 88-57 on the season.

Never Forget - AP

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