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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.

 

  • Blublud

    The fact that they are even showing interest proves my point. I don’t think Granderson fits, but If the Cubs want to sign him, they have plenty of money to do so. Despite the Rhetoric, the Cubs will be one of the more active teams in free agency.

    • Buck Turgidson

      Not buying it that the Cubs sign any free agent of note. Also, Epstein and Hoyer hold their cards close to the vest so this “rumor” falls into the horseshit bucket as far as I’m concerned.

      • Blublud

        Right, but once Theo or Jed contacts player X’s agent, they no longer have control of the rumor. Theo and Co are not God, they can’t control everything.

        • cub2014

          I Agree Blublud, I also think half the people
          on this sight will be pissed if the cubs spend
          some real money on FA this year.

          • YourResidentJag

            Well, when you look at next year’s FA crop, those same ppl are going to that same problem….and in 2016…and in 2017…and in 2018…and…

            • YourResidentJag

              *have

          • Jimmy James

            we probably will be because free agency basically sucks and it gets worse every year.

    • Terencemann

      If the Cubs’ front office hasn’t checked in with just about every free agent’s agent to see what their asking price is, then they’re not doing their job properly. Simply reaching out to the agent doesn’t demonstrate genuine interest but it does mean the agent an tell a writer the Cubs showed interest.

      I am with Brett in that I think that’s exactly the sort of thing that’s going on.

      • Blublud

        If the Cubs are not soon willing to spend 10-15 mil a year on a few FA, they will lose more then that in Revenue.

        I’m as big a homer of a Cubs fan as you will find. I want an all Cubs prospect big league team. It will never happen. There is a reason why the Cubs blew the IFA budget wide open and did all they could last season to secure a top 10 protected pick for one last time. It’s because they know they will lose draft picks this year by signing a few players. The extra IFA signing will help fill the Void of losing a 2nd and possibly 3rd round pick. The Cubs will at least sign an outfielder ( Ellsbury, Choo, Granderson) and I place there willingness to sign Tanaka at above 50%. They need Tanaka more then the Yankees and will go all out for him.

        • cubmig

          I’ve said this before and will say it again: I want Choo!

          • Frank

            kazunheight

            • Tony_S

              Hahahahahahah

          • Headscratchin

            Wasn’t that a Cheap Trick song back in the late 70’s?? “I wan choo to want me.”

  • KielOvher

    ♪ Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew ♫

    • cubmig

      “♪ Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew ♫”

      ♫♫..Choo…♫♫

  • Brains

    I just figured out our new motto:

    “Cubs fans, we settle for less.”

  • Jarder

    Signing him makes sense if they could bring back AJ Pollack or Adam Eaton back in a trade with the D backs to play center. That would almost be a credible Of.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I think a far better option is signing Michael morse to a one yr deal w option. ….. Wayyyy better option

    • macpete22

      Morse is basically just a DH at home point. He definitely cannot play in the OF

      • Tony_S

        Way, way cheaper, throw him in LF or off the bench while he tries to (re-)figure it out

        Count me in

  • macpete22

    J.C. Boscan signed with the Dodgers….The Cubs just lost the offseason

    • Kyle

      Sign all the players?!?

    • TheRiot2

      The sky is falling.

      • Frank

        In that case, I’m no going outside.

  • Matt

    Did I have posts redacted?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. On the rare occasion for editing, I indicate that there’s been an edit.

  • Frank

    Why bother getting a FA outfielder when your going to suck again? Just wait and then bring up the fantastic four and see what they can do. It beats what they have out there now.

    • Hawkeye

      A free agent outfielder also. beats what they have out there now. Realize the Red Sox and Cards wouldn’t have played in the series this year if it weren’t for free agents.

      • Jeff

        No….The Fab Four is the answer to all that ails us, we just have to be patient until they get here and all will be okay.

        We don’t need trades or free agent signings

        • Jeff

          These guys are pitchers, right????

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    I’d be shocked if we signed Granderson because he would cost more than just money. He may be a cool clubhouse cat, but I just don’t see it.

  • Tony_S

    Honestly, I’d take whatever “interest” they have in CG and put it in front of Beltran, see if he bites.

    Now, he won’t, unless you pay him extra to sign with a non-contender. But if Granderson is so wonderful and just what we need to spend (waste) money on, why isn’t the 4-year older, switch hitting version just as good and maybe a little cheaper?

    • Kevin B

      Because Beltran, though 4 years older, is NOT going to be cheaper then Granderson and Beltran is not going to come to the Cubs when contenders will be after him. He is not signing with a National League team that will not contend next year and most likely he is going to an American League team since a 4 year deal makes more sense there then the National League though I seriously doubt even an American League team would give him a 4 year deal. Most likely he is getting a 2 year deal probably for the same amount that Granderson would get for 3 years.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Win Now with Bullpen 2nd base and a Power OF/C bat
    Ideally Cano, Granderson/Choo/Mccan 3 of the best relievers

    • Tony_S

      Just because I want to see what color the sky is in your world, the world where there’s a snowball’s chance that happens this offseason…

      Who’s in your rotation?

  • Wester

    I saw this article coming while watching granderson promoting his charity last week during the bulls game against the pacers. Didnt know hes from Chicago at the time, but thought it was interesting timing being a day or two before the gm meetings.

  • YourResidentJag

    Howard Eskin ✔ @howardeskin
    Follow
    #phillies GM Ruben Amaro deep in serious talks w #bluejays to acquire OF Jose Batista. Can also play 3rd. Phils would deal OF Dom Brown plus

    • Tony_S

      Yeah, I was just reading about that. Having trouble wrapping my head around it…

      Are the Phils just not QUITE old enough yet?!?

  • Barroof

    Should have just kept Soriano . Problem solved. Aging power hitting outfielder good in the clubhouse. Lose 95 games this year and get one last top pick then spend in FA next year when we’re a bit closer to competing .

    • Brains

      yeah that soriano trade is looking more and more short sighted. a beloved player with just one year left on his contract, which we have to pay in full anyway, and for which we’ll receive almost no compensation in the form of minor league or draft picks. Hoyer has just been rolling down hill since he got here.

      • ssckelley

        But remember Soriano did not bust out until he went to the Yankees. He only hit .754 OPS while with the Cubs, I would think they can find better options to get a right handed outfielder.

        • Brains

          i would agree if we weren’t paying most of his contract with no return and no replacement for him in the outfield. it was a dump for the sake of dumping. no doubt he should have produced more contingent upon his contract numbers, but look what happened to him when he had lineup protection? not spectacular, but much improved. a little baseball101 – a strong lineup highlights the strengths of its hitters.

          • ssckelley

            But I would rather see the Cubs younger players a shot like Lake, Sweeney, Bogasevic, even Vitters before an aging Soriano who will not be back in 2015 anyway. They did get a little payroll relief and a low level pitcher in return. If Soriano needs a strong lineup around him in order to hit then he is better off on another team anyway. I have never bought into the lineup thing, good hitters can hit no matter who is batting around them.

            • Brains

              i agree with all of these points, though i do think that even good hitters benefit from lineup support. i’ve never *seen* otherwise, even though if one dig deep enough into abstract numbers a different analysis emerges. i’m just also not sold that quantifying a player’s attributes until they no longer resemble what actually qualitatively happens in the game is a great approach. it’s helpful, but we shouldn’t forget intangibles like momentum, a good clubhouse, and the mental things that have big effects on our actions.

              • ssckelley

                You brought up a great point. Soriano did turn into a terrific clubhouse guy and I think that is what the Cubs missed the most after he left. The question is, is it worth the $5 million or whatever payroll relief they got for him. Can the Cubs sign a good clubhouse guy with less money? I keep beating the drum for Eric Chavez, he only cost 3 million last year and can still hit.

                • Brains

                  Chavez for sure for a short-term deal at that rate. I know it’s unpopular here, but we have to go for Cano if he stays in the stratosphere of a 6 year deal, even if we overpay.

                  There’s so many holes that it’s impossible to know where to begin, but you always start with an experienced leader. At least if you want to succeed.

                  • ssckelley

                    Damn, this is a daily debate with you over Cano.

                    Infield are the strongest positions in the organization with all the young talent they have coming up. I realize it is a risk but the Cubs potentially may have Bryant, Castro, Baez, and Rizzo in 2015. If they do not pan out they still have Alcantara, Olt, and Villanueva. IF (big IF) the Cubs WERE willing to spend that kind of money then they should spend it where they are the weakest, pitching or outfield.

                    • Brains

                      i know, i just don’t see a similar figure of this caliber coming on the market for years. i see a total disaster on the make with a team of 22 year olds with no experience, accompanied by no veterans. it’ll be a 100 loss team with lots of regression, not utopian catharsis as everyone envisions. without some proven leaders, i think even our young talent will fail.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      I see the year 1990 all over again.

                • cub2014

                  where would chavez play? we
                  need 2nd base and OF hitters!
                  we dont need bench players we
                  have plenty of them. 2014 will
                  be a progression at 3B depending
                  on who has success Olt-Baez-
                  Bryant-Villanueva and we still have
                  Murphy & Valbuena as a platoon if
                  we get desperate. OF we are at least
                  2 years away to fill 2 of those positions
                  IFthey pan out. We have 3 bench OF
                  (sweeney,bogie,schierholtz) we have
                  2 basic unknowns in the OF (Lake,
                  Vitters) heaven help us if that is what we
                  are going with in the OF in 2014.

                  • Brains

                    this plays into the logic that a whole bunch of minor leaguers can come up and populate the team. only a couple will make it, if the entire history of baseball is any indicator, and they’ll need some veterans in the clubhouse. i won’t pretend to have a clever algorithm to fix jed’s nuclear explosion of the team, but you have to plant a few trees among the seeds after fallout.

                  • ssckelley

                    Chavez is no longer an every day player, but he can still hit on a part time basis and is a former gold glove at 3rd base. With the youth the Cubs have coming up he would be a handy veteran player to have around and he would not block any of the young players coming up.

                    They would have to be desperate to go back to Murphy & Valbuena for 3rd base.

                  • Voice of Reason

                    cub2014,

                    Chavez makes perfect sense for the Cubs. He will be VERY cheap and can spell our everday players at first and third and be a pinch hitter.

                    OR, if third base becomes a problem then he can step in and play every day while we wait for the youngsters at third base to develop.

                    Chavez would sign like a one year deal for around $3 million bucks.

                    Chavez, Young, Suzuki… it’s guys like this who the Cubs are looking at adding as their big free agents for 2014!!

                    • ssckelley

                      I agree with everything except play everyday at 3rd. He physically cannot play every day anymore at 3rd base. But he would make a nice platoon player, spell Rizzo as you suggested, and give the Cubs an attractive DH option for interleague games.

            • Mannylake

              You mean like when he hit 32 home runs and 108 RBI’s the year before? We didn’t just give him away. We got a good, albeit young prospect in return and a little salary dump. The younger assets are more important than anything. So even if we sign C.Grand and he puts up the exact same numbers as Soriano, we are gaining a future player in Corey Black, and getting a 4.5 year younger slugger in Curtis. We achieve that, while using 7 million saved from Soriano to pay for a bit of that contract. I like the deal.

  • http://www.bairsdenuni.wordpress.com BAIRSDEN

    Free Agency is thin but has some intriguing names that could correctly revamp the roster. Names that wouldn’t break the bank or keep any of the top prospects from breaking through.

    I’d like to see Barney non-tendered and re-signed as an infield back-up.

    I would gander at Cano if his mega-deal market falls through but only if there’s already been a swing and miss on Tanaka who should be priority #1 this off-season.

    Hoyer mentioned signing veteran leadership to replace what they traded this year. Michael Young if he’s healthy enough to play in the NL for a couple million. Otherwise our old trade-rumor buddy Brian Roberts could be the established vet that holds down 2nd base until the kids breakthrough!

    I trade Shark & Nate to Towers for Skaggs & Bradley 8 days a week — even if he forces Heath Bell’s contract into the deal. Wouldn’t mind a catching prospect to make that deal complete.

    Speaking of catchers I’d try to wait out Navarro. If he actually gets a crack at a starting gig elsewhere then I’d look at Jose Molina or Pierzynski for a 1-year deal. I think A.J. could be parallel to Jim Edmonds for how he could win over fans despite his past against the Cubs.

    Corey Hart, Placido Polanco, Grady Sizemore, Scott Baker, Johan Santana, Hiroki Kuroda, Scott Kazmir and Matt Thornton all seem to be worth “kicking the tires” on.

    • ssckelley

      You got the right Young? Chris and even Delmon Young seem to be better options than a 37 year old Michael Young.

    • Fishin Phil

      I miss the old Brian Roberts rumor days, thanks for bringing that up again.

  • TOOT

    Granderson not happening. Look at the facts.

  • Matt

    Brett, per redaction question, I forget my posts were on different thread- long week already. Does Dom Brown interest anyone. It sounds like PHI potentially willing to move him. One of the big concerns with him appears to be defense. Otherwise, young , athletic LH power hitter: what’s not to like? We don’t seem like an obvious match , unless they’d be interested in Shark.

    • ssckelley

      It is funny, Domonic Brown was rumored to be a trade piece with the Cubs before last season. I cannot remember what the rumors were but we were debating if he would be a good return and then he busted out this season. If the Phillies called offering Brown I think they would listen.

      • cub2014

        Why is Dominic all the sudden available? I guess his lack
        of defense? I hope the Phillies want to unload him he
        would fit nicely in the middle of our lineup. The question
        is what would you have to give up to get him? I was thinking
        Schierholtz-Barney-Pinyero or Black or Rivero? Any
        ideas?

        • cub2014

          It would probably take a little more than that for
          Dominic but Schierholtz gives them a platoon
          option in OF and Barney gives them right handed
          bench that can play all 3 positions. Maybe add Ha
          with Pinyero or Black. I think it could get done.

        • ssckelley

          I don’t know, this is the 2nd off season they have been trying to pawn him off. Young guys like him you would think an organization would want to build around, not trade. Last year he had bust written all over him but he bounced back nicely this year. Maybe there are underlying issues that we are not hearing about.

          • cub2014

            i agree on Brown must be something more
            there then just subpar defense? He hit
            lefties and righties the same, k-rate under
            20%, young cost controlled. Doesnt add
            up.

      • brickhouse

        The Brown trade rumors last year were for Soriano

        • ssckelley

          That is what I thought, wish they would have pulled the trigger on that deal. Hindsight is always 20/20, at the time he looked like a bust.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I think Morse in a platoon in right and left and add in Lake and schierholtz Sweeney there’s production there u can win with….. A bullpen addition is more important than granderson

  • jt

    They traded Soriano because a low OBP, power in spurts OF’er didn’t fit their plans. The ate a lot of money in doing so.
    Why would they spend big money to get the same kind of OF’er?

    • cub2014

      jt, are you talking about morse or brown?

      • ssckelley

        He is replying to the blog about Granderson.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Mike Morse is awful at baseball at this point. He can’t stay healthy and is a butcher defensively in the outfield. And he’s really an all or nothing hack. A big, big no thanks.

  • Jim

    To me, we need to play the 2014 season before we start looking at the free agent market. This coming year is going to be very telling on where the pieces fit. If Olt sticks at third base then Bryant is going to have to move to the outfield. If Castro isn’t traded then where does Baez and/or Alcantara fit? When do Soler and Almore project to make a splash? Can Junior Lake continue to make strides forward as a starting outfielder that can hit?

    • Voice of Reason

      Jim,

      It’s refreshing to see that you understand what is going on.

      You’re exactly right. No big name free agents for 2014. We have to be patient and see what happens with the minor leaguers.

      • cub2014

        Voice, I hope you are wrong and I feel differently.

        I think they will look at long term good fit FA for
        the outfield and the same for the pitchers (they
        just said that last week in an interview). But they
        have sent mixed signals for sure.

        I think this is the offseason to do so. Even though
        after 2014 we will have a better feel for: Olt, Baez,
        Bryant, Alcantera & Villanueva. But on pitchers and
        outfielders we are a few years away. We cant wait
        until 2016 to see what we have!

        • Voice of Reason

          cub2014,

          The front office has made it VERY clear in a statement that they will not be signing any big names for big bucks.

          If they came out and said that then they are letting the fans know. Otherwise, why would they want to disappoint the fan base if they felt otherwise?

          They will be adding cheap players like Chris Young, Suzuki, etc.

          • cub2014

            So they are lying when they say they are in on
            Tanaka and Granderson?

  • Voice of Reason

    I’m just telling you what the front office said.

    I understand that they mentioned they will be in on Tanaka. I don’t know what to say about that as I would consider him a high priced talent?

    There is no way in the world they will touch Granderson!!! The Granderson rumor didn’t come from the front office.

    • cub2014

      You may end up being right.

      but they did just say they will be looking for
      starting pitching that they wont be flipping but
      will be part of the teams future.

      According to Granderson’s agent the Cubs have
      contacted them.

      Again they have given us mixed messages.
      I guess we will know in the next few weeks
      what they were doing.

      • Voice of Reason

        This free agency class is shitty so Granderson is going to be generously paid by some team (i.e. $15 million a year for 3 years and maybe more??).

        IFFFFFF he should not be signed and the Cubs could sign him to a one year deal for $10 million or something similar I’m sure they would be interested. Basically he would have to fall in their lap!

        But, again, I don’t see that happening. Granderson is set up to get a nice chunk of change from some team that could use a left handed stick with some pop.

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