Why Curtis Granderson Is a Perfect Free-Agent Fit for the New York Mets

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIDecember 2, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning during the game against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on June 9, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  Yankees defeated the Mets 4-2.(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Curtis Granderson might be thinking about switching sides in the Subway Series after meeting with New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on Sunday.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports broke the news via Twitter on Monday:

Sources: #Mets general manager Sandy Alderson met yesterday with free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2013

The meeting between Granderson and Alderson shouldn't come as a big surprise, as Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that the Mets had preliminary interest in the former New York Yankees outfielder.

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Left fielder Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees and teammates have a moment of silence to commemorate the 12th anniversary of September 11 before an MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Y
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Granderson is a free agent after declining the Yankees' qualifying offer. It appears that he isn't looking for a short-term deal, which is why he declined the one-year, $14.1 million contract.

Martino would later confirm that Granderson is looking for a multi-year deal via Twitter on Monday:

Granderson seeking minimum 3 year deal, according to baseball source in touch w him. In this market, won't be a problem.

— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) December 3, 2013

That lines up nicely with a report by CBS New York that the Grandy Man is looking for a four-year, $60 million contract. The report also linked Granderson with the Mets back in November:

Curtis Granderson also remains a viable option for the Mets, provided they meet his demands, which are reportedly around $60 million over four years.

If that is, in fact, the type of deal that Granderson is looking for, the Mets would have no problem meeting his demands.

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on February 20, 2013 at George Steinbrenner Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Mets certainly have the money to pay for Granderson. The team has been saving its money over the last few years, which is why its payroll has been steadily declining since 2008, according to SteveTheUmp.com.

YearPayrollMLB Rank
2008$137,793,3762
2009$135,773,9882
2010$132,701,4455
2011$120,147,3107
2012$93,353,98314
2013$73,396,64923

As you can see, the Mets spent roughly $73 million in 2013. That is well below their means, and the team should have quite a bit of cash saved up.

It also helps that the team's core four players will be making just $35.3 million in 2014, according to Baseball Prospectus. Adding in another $15 million for Granderson is nothing.

The biggest loss when signing Granderson could be the second-round pick that the Mets would have to give up.

Because Granderson was extended a qualifying offer by the Yankees and declined it, the Mets would have to surrender a high pick if they sign him. However, because their first-round pick is protected, the team would give up a second-round pick.

However, Mike Puma of the New York Post revealed that losing a second-round pick would not stop the Mets from signing a high-profile free agent like Granderson:

Alderson tells Post it's "safe to say" draft pick issue won't stop Mets from signing FA that got a qualifying offer. The discussing is over.

— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 5, 2013

The three-time All-Star and former Silver Slugger looks to be within reach for the Mets this offseason, and signing him would be a huge boost for the club in a lot of different ways.

First, Granderson obviously provides a big bat in the order and someone who can complement David Wright nicely.

After joining the Yankees, Granderson proved himself to be an elite power hitter.

While his true colors didn't shine through in his 61 games in 2013, that was due to a pair of freak injuries that sapped his power. However, he hit 84 home runs in 2011 and 2012 and still has a good amount of power left in his bat.

Granderson is also a lefty power hitter, which would be huge for the Mets.

Because Ike Davis flamed out in 2013 and proved that he is not the power-hitting lefty the Mets envisioned and needed him to be, the team must find a new source of power on the left side of the plate.

Granderson certainly meets the bill, and he would be an excellent complement to star third baseman David Wright, as the two sluggers could bat back-to-back and force opposing pitchers to run into power hitters on both sides of the plate.

The Mets would certainly love to add some power, as the team has struggled to hit home runs over the past five years.

YearHome RunsMLB Rank
20099530
201012824
201110826
201213922
201313025

The Mets certainly failed to hit balls out of the ballpark in 2013, hitting just 130 home runs. The team will need to do better than that if it wants to compete in the coming years.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice against the Detroit Tigers during game three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 16, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Second, Granderson has always been a great teammate, and he would bring a good energy to the clubhouse.

Having a spark plug in the clubhouse and a guy who builds team chemistry might be the most underrated quality that Granderson brings, but it's a good one to have.

Granderson is just one of those guys who keeps everyone happy. He's the type of teammate who will have your back, and everyone knows it.

In 2011, Michael Hurley of NESN revealed that of 18 New York Yankees polled, almost all of them voted Granderson as "most likely be class president in high school." His teammate, Robinson Cano, also called him "Obama Jr."

If that doesn't show you just how much Granderson can bring to a clubhouse, I don't know what can.

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 07:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees looks on from the on deck circle against the Baltimore Orioles during Game One of the American League Division Series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on October 7, 2012 in Baltimore
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Finally, Mets fans have been waiting for a big-name free-agent signing in December since 2008, and they need a guy like Granderson to sign to keep things interesting.

The last big-name free agent to sign with the Mets in December was Francisco Rodriguez, who agreed to a three-year deal.

It's been five long years since the Mets made a big splash in December, and fans are getting anxious.

Star third baseman David Wright certainly expects his team to spend money this offseason, as Jim Baumbach of Newsday reported last week.

The Mets need to start making moves to appease their fans (and players). One of those moves could be signing Granderson, as he is a big enough name to generate a lot of interest in his decision this free agency.

All in all, it looks like Granderson and the Mets could be a perfect fit for 2014 and beyond.