Does four years and $60 million look familiar?
That is Curtis Granderson's current contract with the Mets, but it is hauntingly similar to the four-year, $67 million contract that Jason Bay signed with the Mets in 2009. At the time, Bay was coming off an All-Star-caliber year where he batted .267 with 36 home runs and 119 RBI—much better numbers than Granderson put up last year.
Now, let’s look past last year, because Granderson's numbers were hindered by an injury-plagued season. If we look at his stats in 2012, he batted .232 with 43 home runs and 106 RBI. Granderson's power has always been his strength, which is the exact reason the Mets signed him.
Bay's power pre-Mets was similarly outstanding, as he always put up 20-30 home runs a season. Then he came to Citi Field, where the abstract dimensions proved to be an immense challenge for him. In his entire Mets career he was only able to crack 26 home runs total—that's normally what he would put up in one season.
Granderson, who thrived off Yankee Stadium's short 314-foot right-field porch, will now have to face a 378-foot shot in right-center field. This could mean more fly outs to right, thus reducing his potential to knock out 30-40 home runs this year.
When playing for Boston, Bay was similarly aided by Fenway Park's Green Monster, which is tall but relatively shallow compared to most parks. The difference is that Granderson has already experienced the limelight in one of the toughest markets to play in: New York. For Bay, the media seemingly ate him alive.
How many home runs will Curtis Granderson hit this year?
Since Citi Field is more of a pitcher's park, Granderson will have to focus on doing what he did back in his days with Detroit: finding gaps. In 2007 and 2008 he led the American League in triples with 23 and 13, respectively. If Granderson wants to be successful at Citi Field, he will have to cut down his swing and aim for more line drives as opposed to high, loopy pop-ups.
Baseball is all about making adjustments. In order for him to be successful, he will have to do just that.