Friday, December 6, 2013

Mets Make Swift Move, Sign Granderson to 4-Year Deal

Hell has frozen over. In other news, the New York Mets, that's right the New York Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a $60 million four year contract, bringing a credible baseball player to Queens for the first time since the Omar Minaya era.

For well over a week the Mets had been involved in intense negotiations with the Granderson party, after the outfielder rejected a one-year qualifying offer from the Yankees. It appeared as the days wore on in negotiations that New York was really the only suitor for the former All Star outfielder. 

The Mets have come under fire in the Alderson regime since they seldom spent much cash to improve the club, and any additions the team made were in very poor investments for the Mets beleaguered bullpen. Many have come under the impression that the reason for the Mets lack of spending is in due part to the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff scheme which took millions of dollars away from owner Fred Wilpon. 

Wilpon has been going on the cheap for the last five years, and when the Mets stated at the beginning of this off-season that they would not spend a big multi-million contract this year it ruffled more feathers. 

Yet the Mets were strategic in their thinking, at least this off-season. They targeted Granderson, who unlike Jacoby Ellsbury ($153 million with the Yankees) and fellow free agent, Shin Shoo Choo, gives the Mets a credible face both on the field and in the locker room. 

Granderson spent part of the 2013 season on the shelf due to a couple very freaky hand and wrist injuries that brought his numbers down to career lows, hitting only .229 with seven homers and 15 RBI. 

Keep in mind Granderson is not that kind of player. This is a guy who has been one of the most consistent players in the game through the past decade. He scored 100 plus runs in four of his 10 years in the league. Two season's ago, Granderson hit 43 homers with 106 RBI in his final full year with the Yankees. So Granderson can still hit big time. 

Granderson will likely play left field for the Mets; at 32 years old, patrolling center field is not his forte anymore. And in a National League lineup, he is more likely to fit into the number 2 hole, ahead of David Wright, giving the Mets a solid 1-2 punch early in the order. 

But Mets fans must be careful not to delude themselves into thinking that their problems are fixed. They are not. They still don't have a prototypical lead-off hitter; they don't have a short stop, nor a center fielder, nor first baseman. They have lingering questions in right field, second base and catcher. This is a team that is beyond a contender right now. 

The Mets have to address short stop and center field, and they have to find a way to get deadweights Lucas Duda and Ike Davis out of town. Not to mention, the Mets could use a bonafide closer and another starter. 

The job is not done for Sandy Alderson, but it's a good first step. Hopefully the Wilpon's are willing to pony up a little bit more dough to make that happen. 

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