Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Granderson Opts Out of Yankee Offer, Will Test Market

Curtis Granderson's days in pinstripes might be numbered.

Granderson was one of three Yankees to reject Brian Cashman's qualifying offer, which would have paid the right fielder $14.1 million next season. The others to reject the offer were Robinson Cano and Hiroki Kuroda.

While not surprising to Cashman, and also a bit of a relief since he won't have to fork over $14 million for one season, in the case of Granderson he could be done as a Yankee.

The Yankees main focus this off-season is finding a way to retain Robinson Cano, who is going to be asking for a steep price in free agency, and making a decision at third base with Alex Rodriguez.

Before the season ended, Cano and his representation, led by rapper and Brooklyn Nets part owner Jay-Z, asked for $310 million over 10 years. The Yankees are looking in the neighborhood of $161 million if not a little less.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez remains in the riptides of the biogenesis steroid scandal that could cost the former league MVP the entire 2014 season.

But let's get back to Granderson, who for four years carried himself with impeccable respect and dignity in the Yankees locker room. He didn't bring attention to himself and put up big numbers, including hitting 40-plus homers in 2011 and 2012.

If the Yankees should lose Granderson they are said to be interested in 36-year old Carlos Beltran, and overhyped free agent outfielder Shin Shoo-Choo. While Choo is a .285 career hitter, he's a bit of a lineup enigma. He's not a lead-off hitter since he doesn't steal enough bases, and not a middle of the order hitter since he doesn't drive in enough runs; yet he's seeking a deal in the $90 - $100 million range. He is a risk, but with the Yankees depth, he could disappear in the lineup.

Beltran would be a quick fix move. He was an under-apreciated player with the Mets for seven years before they dealt him to San Francisco a couple years ago. Since Beltran resurrected his career in St. Louis. He would be a nice addition, but at his advanced age, and considering the age issue on the Yankees, Beltran would not be the best move out there.

The Yankees loss could become the Mets gain, because the Mets are very interested in adding Granderson, going as far as to contact him after his release from the Yankees.

Forget that he will be 33-years-old next year, Granderson is the quintessential club house guy that the Mets desperately need. He is automatically better than any of the dregs in the Mets outfield right now form Juan Lagares to Lucas Duda and Eric Young Jr.

While his power numbers would likely go down in Citi Field, he can still produced big doubles and triples numbers for the Mets, if he joins. He would also take a lot of pressure off of David Wright, who has to juggle being the captain and only legit player on the Mets the past four years.

The Mets are very interested in adding outfield bats, having already inquired about talks with former Brewer Corey Hart, Choo, Red Sox' outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and short stop Stephen Drew.

So for the first time in years it looks like the Mets will be big players in free agency. Let's hope they finally give their fan base something to smile about.

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