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curtis granderson yankeesAh, it’s GM Meetings week, and the rumors are flying, eh?

The Chicago Cubs are reportedly among a small handful of teams showing early interest in free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson. That comes from Matt Cerrone, a New York Mets writer, who adds that the other interested teams – so far – include the Mets, White Sox, and Astros. It’s a fun foursome for a guy who earlier today said that his number one goal in free agency was to go to a winner.

So, what do we make of the Cubs’ interest? Do we buy it? Is it serious?

I’m going to play detective …

Cerrone is a New York writer (a good one), and Granderson is currently a New York guy. Cerrone’s best contacts, presumably, are with the Mets (the team he covers). If this rumor was coming from the Mets, you’d expect to be of the more simple “the Mets are interested in Granderson” variety. Instead, the naming of multiple teams has more of an “agent feel” to it. So, if I were guessing, the rumor is originating with Granderson’s agent (perhaps by way of a Mets employee). If so, I wouldn’t say the agent is lying, but he obviously has an interest in creating the appearance of as much action on Granderson as possible.

To that end, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the Cubs have reached out to Granderson given their outfield need and his Chicago connection (he’s originally from the Chicago area). Granderson, himself, has connected his free agency to the Cubs (and White Sox), and the Cubs would be foolish not to feel him out. To the extent the Cubs have expressed “interest” in Granderson, it could simply be a form of what this front office is always trying to do: find value. In Granderson’s case, that would take the form of, “Hey, we have an outfield spot, and we might have some interest in Granderson if he’s looking to take a discount to come back to Chicago.”

Absent that kind of discount, it’s not clear that the Cubs would be willing to invest four or more years in a soon-to-be 33-year-old with an increasing strikeout rate from his younger days and some health scares, especially considering the loss of a draft pick. As a qualified free agent, Granderson will cost his signing team a draft pick – in the Cubs’ case, it’s their second rounder. That’s not enough (or at least shouldn’t be enough) to frighten the Cubs away, but it’s enough to keep them searching for value.

That all said, I believe I’ve heard that Granderson is considered a solid, veteran presence in the clubhouse, and the Cubs certainly have a need there. They could always use left-handed power, and have at least one open spot in the outfield.

If Granderson could be had on a three-year, $40 to $45 million deal, then I think the Cubs should at least consider it. North of that – in dollars or years – and it starts to make a whole lot less sense. And he might well get a lot more than that – it’s tough to gauge in this ever-changing market. Last year, Michael Bourn got just four years and $48 million from the Indians, and you could argue he was more valuable then than Granderson is now. But, the economics keep changing.

 

  • baseballet

    The Cubs, White Sox, Astros and Mets should pool their money and all buy Granderson together. Same for Tanaka. They could divvy up the game dates.

  • CubFan Paul

    I wish they had signed Bourn instead EJax last offseason. That 4/$48M looks awesome right now

    • Voice of Reason

      If we had bourn we still lose 90+ games.

      • aaronb

        Which is why we should never try to upgrade the MLB club.

        Moar prospects!!!!!

      • CubFan Paul

        But we’d have a CenterFielder in the short term (was my point above).

        • Jimmy james

          Not loving his obp

          • DarthHater

            Hey, you think it’s easy to hit 43 HRs and still have a SLG under .500?

        • hansman

          You are correct. We would have someone that is adept at playing CF. But who was below average at the plate. For $12M.

          Id rather risk running junior lake out there next year.

          • CubFan Paul

            “But who was below average at the plate. For $12M”

            I know. Don’t care. Not psychic.

            “Id rather risk running junior lake out there next year”

            Yea, I would too now because of hindsight but that’s a different discussion.

            • hansman

              No, I was saying dont sign him last year.

              Going into 2014 I wouldnt be surprised that id rsther have lake than granderson

              • CubFan Paul

                “No, I was saying dont sign him last year”

                I know. You wouldn’t let me hear the end of it (kinda like now)

                • hansman

                  Its not often im right so I relish it when I am.

              • Blublud

                Yeah. I would rather have Lake also (benefit of hindsight fore me). I really think Lake can turn into a really good defensive CF over time. I hope he gets a chance to start there next season.

          • MightyBear

            Bourn made 7 million last year but good division.

    • The Mayor

      Bourn had a horrible year.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Bourn had a horrible year.”

        Probably adjusting to a new league and home. I’m also not psychic.

      • MightyBear

        He had a 2.4 WAR. What was the Cubs WAR in CF?

        • Funn Dave

          ~1 billion.

        • hansman

          1.2 from Lake alone.

          • cubes

            he only played 27 games at CF
            while sporting a .957 Fld% in CF in other words not acceptable for a CF.

            • Scotti

              Those are the only games he EVER played in CF. He’s likely to improve. Very likely.

              • MichiganGoat

                I don’t put much faith into Lake but his OF defense can’t be measured accurately right now. Before he was called up he had only sniffed the outfield and was primarily an infielder. He will improve he’s got great range and a canon for an arm. His defense will be fine.

            • hansman

              And yet he still provided 1.2 fWAR

              He was above average in LF so its quite possible that repetition will bring up his CF defense.

        • Professor Snarks

          DeJesus = 1.6
          Sweeney = ..6
          Lake CF only =..8

          total = 3

  • cubes

    “If Granderson could be had on a three-year, $40 to $45 million deal, then I think the Cubs should at least consider it. North of that – in dollars or years – and it starts to make a whole lot less sense.”

    100% agree

    • Brains

      yep, under those conditions he’d be a great sign, brains approved.

      • Reality Check

        it makes zero sense. why should a team that is still losing on purpose waste a 2nd round pick on a 33 yr old who will be 35 in 2016 when the cubs are any good, maybe, hopefully, IF, prospects turn out and IF ricketts ever acts like a team with the 4th or 5th highest revenues. the ejax 52M along with baker-stewart-Fuji is enough wasted.

        lake-Sweeney-schierholtz is a fine OF; find a RH bat; perhaps chris young, last of the a’s and be done with it. 2014 is best used to see if lake progresses and to hope soler and almora continue thru the minors.

        every penny of the FA dollars should be spent on Tanaka; he has the most value for 2016. he alone would make the 2014 off-season a win.

        • SenorGato

          Major assumptions here:

          1 – That this franchise is still planning on losing on purpose because prospects.

          2 – That Lake – Sweeney – Schierholtz is a fine OF.

          3 – That it’s a second round pick, and/or that the second round pick is all that valuable in the first place. It might be a third if they sign someone else who got a qualifying offer.

          • Brains

            as good as i am, i can’t upstage this one. lol

          • Reality Check

            have you been paying attention?
            no assumption cubs are losing on purpose; did theo try to set a cubs record last 2 yrs with 197 losses?
            for a non-contending team; any OF is fine; especially if 1/3 is trying out like Lake is for future play. (and schierholtz could be a trade chip at deadline).
            no draft pick is worth losing for this bad team; just keep the picks. spend money later.

            major assumption: senorgato doesn’t understand what the cubs plan is.

            • jayrig5

              The second-round pick is a tradeoff. It’s something the Cubs should consider only relative to the player they’re signing; if the FA they’re considering isn’t that good of a player, fine. But if the player projects to have decent major league value for the next 3+ seasons, then in all likelihood that’s a much better gamble than a second round pick.

              Baseball isn’t the NFL. Second round picks are such a crapshoot that it’d be a bit silly to value them on par with a good MLB free agent. If anything, the fact that the Cubs won’t lose a first round pick this year (and perhaps not next offseason either, as much as I’d love to be wrong) is a good reason to look at guys who have received qualifying offers; the fact that other teams might be wary of giving away the draft pick could depress the price on some of them to the point that it makes even more sense for the Cubs to sign them.

            • jt

              The Cubs will soon run out of room to put prospects

            • Tony_S

              Don’t like general snarky ness, but I’m with reality check here.

              You can argue the value of the second rd pick; although I think I value it more highly than most of you seem to (DRAFT ALL THE PICKS), it’s a valid argument.

              I’m far more concerned about 3/45 for Curtis friggin Granderson. I don’t buy the veteran leadership piece from him, I think he’ll be too busy trying to re-establish his own value, for namesake if nothing else. Wrong side of 30, injury problems last year, etc etc. wrong place to stick that money, he looks worse than Soriano in 2.5 yrs. (Also, I think it’ll take the 4, or a player option, or a weird opt out clause after the first year, to get him).

              Also agree that Tanaka (even if it’s only Tanaka) makes the hot stove a win this year, and everything else is gravy.

              • Kyle

                OK, the Cubs pick projects to be about No. 41.

                There have been 49 No. 41 overall picks in MLB draft history. Without looking it up, how many of those 49 do you think reached 6.0 career bWAR (roughly the equivalent of two above-average starting seasons, three average seasons, or five or six bench years)?

                • Tony_S

                  You either didn’t read what I posted, or didn’t mean to respond to me.

                  I’m hesitant about the second rounder, but I also don’t frankly give a shit, I just wouldn’t give up a second rounder for the opportunity to overpay for 3-4 over-30 years of Curtis Granderson.

                  • Kyle

                    You said

                    “I think I value it more highly than most of you seem to ”

                    I thought it’d be interesting to dig into that a little more. Any guesses?

  • Voice of Reason

    The cubs general manager came out and told us they will not spend.big bucks on big name free agents.

    And granderson makes no sense for the cubs.

    They need guys that can get on base and stay healthy.

    • Mike F

      hmmm must be a brain twister for you….. Theo says seems to have so many of you all twisted up with his plan and how you don’t sign older guys and then here comes a 33 year old, who turned down 14.1 for a year from the Yankees. But let’s not get our panties all in wad, let’s wait until we hear how deeply they are in on Cano and then Ellsbury.

      Theo is doing what solid GM’s and baseball people do. He’s misleading and lowering expectations so he can exceed them. I don’t think he’ll sign too many, but I think he’ll sign a big ticket fa, run at Tanaka and fall short and make two major trades.

      He understands he can’t afford to sit on his hands now with the ML roster. I just worry about you trued believers in the plan. its going to be a big let down……

  • Leo L

    I find it suprising that the cubs would even want to give up a second round pick for him. but is he a guy that the team can flip mid season to a contender for a prospect?

  • The Logos

    I thought I read something earlier today about the Cubs looking to replace the “veteran presence” they have been missing since the DeJesus and Soriano trades.

    Granderson does a ton of charity work and events in the community. Seems like a guy you might want around your younger players to show them how to keep it classy; that said, I think it’s going to come down to years, and the Cubs won’t come out on top, and probably shouldn’t unless it is of the deep-discount variety.

    Theo said it himself at the On Deck event. Granderson is a guy on the other side of the decline curve, and that is probably not the type of player in whom they are looking to invest.

  • walterj

    My question is , “If the Phillies are stupid enough to give Byrd 8 million a year , how much is Granderson worth ? 16 miilion ?”

  • TulaneCubs

    I’m completely against this kind of signing unless the organization feels strongly that he’ll bounce back and can be flipped for talent.

    The reality of where the Cubs are in their competition window is they aren’t going to compete this year and they probably won’t compete next year. If we give Granderson a 3 year contract, that leaves 1 year when the Cubs would actually compete under his contract.

    That 1 year is not worth giving up a draft pick, even a second rounder. Now, if they feel like Granderson is going to bounce back and their goal is to trade him a year from now or at the deadline for value in excess of a 2nd round pick, then I’m all for it. But a short term deal where we plan on keeping the guy and it costs us even a 2nd round pick is not worth it, in my opinion.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    There are enough talented college pitchers and outfielders in the 2014 draft that giving up that high second round pick is too much of a asset to just give up for a player like Granderson. I’d recommend they sign Jeff Baker to platoon with Bogusevic in RF and trade Scheirholtz and Samardzija to Arizona for Adam Eaton, Tyler Skaggs, and Holmberg.

    • Carew

      No to Jeff Baker

    • Tulane Cubs

      Agreed on the Baker signing. There are much, much cheaper ways to sign a veteran presence that still fits a team need and he’d be one of them.

    • YourResidentJag

      No to that trade. You might want research Skaggs and his HR in the majors vs minors. Quite alarming. Just because someone is a prospect to make them good. That’s why they’re a prospect.

      • YourResidentJag

        *doesn’t make

  • Eric

    Granderson would be a good fit. Part of me wishes Sori was a free agent this year.

  • MightyBear

    The problem I have is what is “value” today? I sure hope Theo/Jed know because I have no clue. I do know the price of poker (and baseball players) is going up.

  • MightyBear

    I do know that the Cubs are going to have to sign some players to keep up the bullshit story that every season is precious and they are going to try and compete every season. I’m not sure Joaquin Benoit and Chris Young are going to be enough to sell the story and/or tickets.

    • CubFan Paul

      “I’m not sure Joaquin Benoit and Chris Young are going to be enough”

      They’ve accumulated the assets to make a trade or two to keep up the bullshit story…

      • MightyBear

        That could work pending the trade and/or trades.

    • Kyle

      They are laying the groundwork to not even bother trying to sell that story this time around.

      • MightyBear

        Great. Next thing you know even the government won’t lie to us.

        • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

          +1

  • CM

    FA question:
    Let’s say for argument’s sake the Cubs decide to spend lavishly in the off season and they sign 3 of the players who rejected their QO’s and are tied to draft pick compensation. They obviously lose their 2nd round pick for one of the three they sign. Which picks do they lose for the other two?

    • MightyBear

      3 and 4 I believe.

    • MightyBear

      They also lose the pool money associated with those picks. Which for 3 and 4 isn’t nearly as much as 1 and 2.

      • MichiganGoat

        The loss of the pool money is the real detractor in losing a pick.

  • LWeb23

    Just throwing it out there, and is probably very very unlikely, but it could be possible that Granderson would be intrigued to become a flippable asset…. He get’s to live at home in Chicago for a few months, then off to a contender for the time of year that really matters. If he is upfront with the FO about that and they are in an understanding, they could try to move him to a set of contender’s that he is intrigued by. He’ll have a much better clue of who is a contender in July as opposed to this time of year (prime example, Offseason 2012-2013 Blue Jays vs. Actual 2013 Blue Jays).

    • LWeb23

      Which upon further thought, might not be worth it for the Cubs considering the loss of the 2nd round draft pick….

      • http://waittilnextyear.net Nate Corbitt

        Depends on whether or not the player they trade for is better than the one they would get with the second round pick.

  • Dawn

    We had a veteran center fielder in DeJesus. Cheaper too…

    • MightyBear

      Did we ever find out who the PTBNL for DeJesus was?

      • Blackhawks1963

        PTBNL in the DeJesus deal with Washington was a used infield rake.

  • THEOlogical

    “Michael Bourn got JUST four years and $48 million form the Indians”….
    Hey Brett, just how much do you make for this site? Enough to where you can sneeze at $48 million? :)

  • SenorGato

    I absolutely love the fit. CF, low commit, high quality veteran OFer, hits LH, hits HRs, takes walks, high character…

    Hopefully Ricketts scrounges up some pennies and Epstein deems it OK to move a little on this rebuild.

    • aaronb

      Agreed

    • bikemonkey

      He’s pretty much relegated to corner OF spots at this point.

      • SenorGato

        True. I’d be more than fine with that too.

  • cavemencubbie

    I was in on Ganderson the last time he was a free agent. That train has left the station. Too old, too costly. There isn’t a free agent I like out there.

  • Jono

    Yes, please. He’s a really good fit. Losing the draft pick is a negative, but seems to be worth it. Another negative is that Yankees stadium usually inflates lefty power, correct? Or is that righty power? Or maybe just all power?

    When / if baez and bryant come up, and if granderson is there, that’ll make a nice lineup, though.

    • Tony_S

      Lefty, something about the jet stream or some shit

  • cubs2003

    A guy like Granderson could be useful, depending on price. I think some high-character, relatively high-profile veteran presence is important, even for a rebuilding team. After DeJesus and Soriano left last year it seemed like some of the young players were looking for a post to lean on and there wasn’t anything there.

  • macpete22

    I’m just glad we didn’t trade Castro for Granderson a few years ago

  • Blackhawks1963

    Granderson WAS a very good ballplayer. But he’s 33, strikes out 175 times plus, benefitted hugely from the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, is no longer defensively suited to center field and is coming off a season which was lost to two major injuries. And he will command at least a 3 year deal at $42M plus.

    Ah, no thanks.

    • YourResidentJag

      Ah, here we go again. Basing something solely on SO rate means nothing. The short porch in Yankee stadium was dismissed. The injury was reported by Joel Sherman (much more credible than yourself) as fluky. But you keep up on a sellin’ those lies…you might just get ppl to believe them.

      • Tony_S

        Um, that all sounds pretty legit.

  • Smackafilieyo

    Isn’t granderson – Soriano 2.0? I thought we needed OBP guys? I just want tanaka and that’s it. This years FA class blows goats for quarters.

  • Pat

    I’d go four years for Granderson, but I’d want to keep it to under 50mil. Not sure if that gets it done.

  • Die hard

    Castro for Braun rumors gaining traction

    • Patrick W.

      No way Fidel ever shaves that beard, I don’t care how good an electric razor he uses.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Lmfao!!!

    • AB

      Lloyd Braun provides the kind of sales experience desperately needed by the front office to sell the rebuild to the fans.

      • Patrick W.

        Baseball… It’s the sport of the future sir.

        • Patrick W.

          Of course .05miliseconds after hitting submit I realize I’m thinking of Lloyd Dobler.

          • DarthHater

            Jerk store!

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1384302674346392225.jpg[/img]

    • Brains

      hah, best die hard post ever

      • DarthHater

        You just haven’t been around long enough. It’s good, but far from his best work.

    • chrisfchi

      Multiple sources report BN willing to trade die hard for a hotdog and an old style.

      • DarthHater

        Multiple sources report that all blogs possessing a hot dog and an old style have rejected BN’s trade overtures.

        • chrisfchi

          Can’t trust the internet anymore.

          • hansman

            Didnt we already have this discussion.

    • Patrick W.

      We all know Die Hard is Al Yellon, right?

      • Pat

        That would explain some things

  • Michael

    We ought to just sign Dule Hill. He could play Curtis Granderson for the Cubs. His tv show is ending this year so he’s also a free agent. Thanks I’ll be here all week.

    • DarthHater

      And don’t forget to try the pot roast.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Best how of all time. If James Roday got over the Yips he would be an offensive upgrade over Barney.

  • http://None Cubbieblue29

    I’d love to see the Cubs go out and get Denard Span from the Nats. Great top of the order hitter.

    • YourResidentJag

      This just in…the nats want Travis Wood. :)

      • http://None Cubbieblue29

        I think Wood would be too much for Span.

        • YourResidentJag

          Yeah, I know…joking.

  • CubChymyst

    Was thinking about qualifying offers. A team with a player that didn’t accept a qualifying offer is likely more willing to to sign a different player with a qualifying offer. They would lose their 1st round pick for signing the player, but gain a pick back when the player they originally extended an offer to signs. This would especially be true if there pick is towards the end of the first round.

    • Tony_S

      Um, yes, that is absolutely correct.

  • Senor Cub

    Stay in NY or go to Astros!

  • chrisfchi

    I still think we will land Tanaka. He’s exactly the type of FA that fits the FO list. No loss of draft pick is a bonus. If were going to fill out our holes with depth guys, then this is the best option out there.

    • Tony_S

      I don’t have the faith, but I’m hoping like hell

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