On Friday, the Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a four year, $60 million contract. It is the first significant signing for Sandy Alderson in his tenure as Mets General Manager (unless you want to count Frank Francisco’s two year, $12 million debacle). This signing is just what the Mets needed and I’m glad it happened early in the off-season.
One of the major needs of the Mets going into the hot stove season was to acquire a power hitting corner outfielder to protect David Wright in the lineup and Granderson fulfills all of those aspects. Granderson has hit more than 20 home runs every year since 2007 (which the exception of 2013 due to injury). However, Granderson is not a pure masher, he uses the gaps well and his speed allows him to pick up more than his fair share of doubles and triples.
A realistic expectation for Granderson next season is .256/.336/.477 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI. And depending on the rest of the roster construction and who is protecting him in the lineup (currently Lucas Duda or Ike Davis) his number could increase. Hi injuries don’t concern me since last season both injuries occurred because he was hit with pitches. He has been a relatively durable player in his career averaging 152 games each season (excluding 2013).
Jon Heyman has reported that Granderson’s contract is slightly backloaded - $13 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015, $16 million in 2016 and $15 million in 2017. This gives the Mets more flexibility this offseason as well as the final year of his deal. Especially since the deal does not include a no-trade clause.
All said, this deal is great for the Mets and the fan base. It shows a willingness to spend that hasn’t been considered the last few years and puts the Mets on the way up rather than stuck in rebuilding.
The Winter Meeting officially kick off today in Orlando. The Mets have made fans very happy in the last 72 hours, but there is still work to be done. Here is some things I’m looking forward to this week:
1. Curtis Granderson Introduction Press Conference - Right now it’s all a little dazed, but once Granderson his handed that orange and blue jersey it will become real; and the Mets will once again be players in the free agency market. Plus, I’d really like to number his number so I can pick up my Grandy sno-white jersey.
2. Upgrade At Shortstop - One of the top two shortstops, Stephen Drew, is still on the board. His market is said to be slow right now, but with Scott Boras as his agent you can bet that won’t last and the Mets won’t be able to still him for cheap. There aren’t too many other options on the market, so it will be interesting to see how trade talks progress with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Ike Davis/Lucas Duda conundrum is likely to be broken up to acquire a missing piece from the Mets lineup and the Rays’ Yunel Escobar (whose $5 million club option was just picked up) may be a piece worth looking at.
3. Back End Of The Rotation - The front end of the pitching staff is set with Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. Jenrry Mejia is a viable in-house option after a strong performance in 2013 and will be ready for Spring Training after surgery in August. In all likelihood, the Mets will keep Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard in Triple-A Las Vegas at least through the Super Two date in June. If that’s the case, a fifth starter will need to be brought in to at least compete in camp. Other than the Bronson Arroyo-type guys, other pitchers that are more sturdy could be Bruce Chen or Paul Maholm. Then there are reclamation projects that could be brought in for low dollars or even a minor league deal such as Roy Halladay or even Johan Santana.
4 Years, $60 million for Curtis Granderson. #LGM
I can’t sit here and write another post about a player the Mets may be in contact with or have been rumored to be interested in - it gets old after a while. So, I thought I’d do a fun post (depends on if your my parents or not) on some of the damage I caused around my house whilst watching our beloved New York Mets.
While I was growing up and getting into baseball (during the late 90s) I didn’t have a TV in my room. Since my parents really had no interest in watching a three hour baseball game in the living room, I watched the games in my parent’s bedroom. The Mets were good then, but they sure didn’t make watching games easy (especially once Armando Benitez joined the team). As the situation became more and more tense my teeth dug more and more into the foot-board of my parents bed and this is what we’re left with today.
The next Mets-related damage that hasn’t been fixed takes us back to 2006…NLCS Game 7 to be precise. I remember watching Carlos Beltran strikeout in the living room, calmly walking down the hall to my bedroom, slamming the door open putting a hole in the wall, then punching my light switch in frustration to turn the light on. The hole has been fixed, but the light switch remains; and every time I turn on the lights in my bedroom I think of that strikeout and what could have been.
During the collapses of 2007 and 2008 I was in college, so any holes in walls or chairs broken have long been forgotten. So the next documented time I let my rage for the Mets take over was in 2012, June 5th to be exact. The Mets had lost the lead thrice in a 12 inning loss to the Nationals thanks to a comedy of errors by Jordany Valdespin and a short bullpen. When Bryce Harper knocked that 0-2 pitch that fell just in front of Vinny Rottino my bed felt my wrath for Harper, Valdespin and Elvin Ramirez. I punched the foot-board, the beam split, the bed collapsed and I fell off. Now a series of boxes and old school books support me while I sleep.
Today, Andy Martino mentioned Cuban defector Erisbel Arruebarruena is working out at the Yankees complex this weekend and the Mets intend to send scouts. The Mets are looking to upgrade from the in-house options of Ruben Tejada and Wilfredo Tovar this offseason and with the recent successes of Cuban defectors Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig it is easy to get excited about a bat coming out of the island.
However, after looking at the scouting report, it sounds to me like Arruebarruena could just be another Tejada. Ben Badler offers these tidbits on Arruebarruena:
- clean hand with good position control
- below-average runner, with quick first step
- plus-plus arm
- bat is major concern
Although I agree with the sentiment that an upgrade at shortstop is needed, I’m not sure Arruebarruena is the right fit for the Mets as he doesn’t offer a significant upgrade in any tool over Tejada.
It’s no secret the Mets are hurting financially and that can largely be attributed to low gate receipts the last few seasons. The quickest way for the Mets to bring the fans back would be to sign the top tier free agents and create a buzz around the team in the great media market on the planet. But the Mets are broke, you say. No one wants to play here, you might add. The hitters hate Citi Field, one could argue. All valid points, but as we have already seen this offseason, no contract is immoveable…and it only takes one.
The Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine year, $214 million contract. A contract some said would hurt the Tigers more than A-Rod’s hurt the Yankees. But is that the case now? No. The Tigers took a two-year shot at winning a title then traded that contract for one of the best second baseman in baseball by eating some of the money. This is the approach the Mets should take.
First, find the greediest son of a bitch on the market now. Let’s call him Robinson Cano. Cano wants $310 million and the Yankees are offering $175 million - the Mets should split the difference and give him $240 million. Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi are supposed to be the best brains in baseball. Surely they can figure a way to move his contract after a few seasons in Queens while his value is still high.
After the first domino falls, the rest will too. “Oh Robbie signed with the Mets?!,” free agents will think aloud, “Let’s go there too!” Then Granderson decides to come on a 4 year, $60 million dollar deal. Then Stephen Drew hopes on board for four years and $55 million. The pieces start to fall into place.
Suddenly a lineup goes from “Young Jr., Murphy, Wright, Duda, Young, Lagares, d’Arnaud, Tejada” goes to “Young, Drew, Wright, Cano, Granderson, Duda, Lagares, d’Arnaud.” Tell me that lineup wouldn’t inspire hundreds if not thousands to buy tickets that would have otherwise given a big “FU” to the Wilpons and their penny pinching ways.
Even with signing those guys, next year’s payroll only shoots up to $110-113 million, which is certainly an area the Mets have lived in in the past. But all of that money won’t be on the books forever because we’ve seen this winter any contract, even the most ludicrous, can be moved in the right deal. So why not take a chance at a World Series for a few years? Give Mets fans something to get excited about - we deserve it!
The TWEET OF THE YEAR just went down! @whutyearisit dropped a sick beat and penned this phenomenal version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Be fair warned, you will be singing this version when the song pops on the radio this month!
Mets reporter Kevin Burkhardt has been off working NFL games for FOX this winter (and quite well I might add), but he is still up to date with all the movements of the Mets - or lack there of.
This morning, KB tweeted this…
I agree that the status quo is not acceptable. There were many deals and trades struck over the last 24 hours and the Mets haven’t been involved in any of them. So I pose the question…at which point does the “Sell The Team” montage go from cute and the running joke on #MetsTwitter to an actual problem where MLB will need to intervene for the health of the franchise.
I know it is technically still early in the offseason, but with teams filling the same holes the Mets have with players that were on his radar, they are running out of viable major league options. Chirs Young was a good start, but that’s all it should be, not a marquee pickup. If the Mets don’t start to make moves at next week’s Winter Meetings then I don’t know where this franchise is headed.
Last night at midnight, the deadline to tender players a contract came and went, there were many surprise names cut by the Mets and a few surprising players I’d like to see the Mets acquire on the cheap.
Jordany Valdespin - JV1 was non-tendered by the Mets esentially ridding the oraganization of a “bad seed.” He was already on the Mets brass’ bad side, but I believe the PED suspension was the final straw. Sure, he was a lightning rod #MetsTwitter loved having around and he does have pure talent, but let’s not forget he was only a .219 hitter in his time with the Mets with a few dramatic game-winning homers sprinkled in.
Justin Turner - The fact that Mets fans are upset about Turner’s non-tendering speaks volumes about the ball club’s current position.The Mets lost 88 games last year and we are worried about a bench player being shown the door?! Hopefully these moves mean that better players are on their way to fill their roster spots. Justin Turner was a great clubhouse guy, a solid backup player and he played the game hard - but there are other guys like that available in baseball.
Jeremy Hefner - This one was surprising, but not as much as Turner. Hefner is due to miss much of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery. Hefner was a solid spot starter and could fill that role in the future for the Mets. He could have been placed on the 60-day DL in spring training to open up a roster spot, but the Mets obviously wanted that flexibility sooner rather than later.
Other non-tenders my the Mets were Scott Atchinson and Omar Quintanilla. Below are some players I’d like to see the Mets make a run at.
J.P. Arencibia - He was thought to be a part of the Blue Jays package to acquire R.A. Dickey last winter, but the Mets wanted and got Travis d’Arnaud instead. Now, with the Blue Jays non-tendering him, he’s available to the Mets as a backup catching option should they want him. Arencibia is only a career .212 hitter, but he has hit 23, 18 and 21 home runs that last three seasons while driving in more than 50 runs in each.
Andrew Bailey - Bailey is a hometown boy who went to school on Staten Island. After a horrid 7.09 ERA in 2012, he bounced back nicely with a 3.77 ERA in 2013 to go along with a 12.2 K/9. In his three years in Oakland, Bailey had over 20 saves each season; he is a valuable bullpen commodity the Mets should look to add.
Baseball’s Winter Meeting start in six days, so expect lots of movement and rumors in the coming weeks.