There’s a lot to like about what outfielder Curtis Granderson brings to the table. Power from the left side. Good athleticism. Great leadership. Solid defense.
But when I read that the New York Mets have reportedly agreed to terms with Granderson, who was previously connected to the Cubs in rumors, I can focus only on the question marks. Granderson turns 33 in March, and played in just 61 games last year. His line the last two years is .231/.319/.469, each number well below his career averages. Previously an annual threat to steal 20 bases, Granderson hasn’t stolen 20 in the last two years combined. He had 43 homers in 2012, but his 7 homers in 61 games last year put him on pace to have his lowest output there in eight years. And he was doing that in one of the most power-friendly parks for lefties in the game.
I could see a two or three-year deal making some sense if the money was right. There could be some surplus value, and the good stuff might outweigh the bad, including the loss of a draft pick.
So when I see that Granderson reportedly is getting four years at $15 million per season, I can’t say I’m too upset that the Cubs weren’t involved. There might be some value there for the Mets, who, like the Cubs are at least a year or two away from coming out of the rebuilding phase. Might.
I’d still like to see the Cubs add a legitimate bat in the outfield this offseason, but the options are dwindling. Nelson Cruz would have been intriguing as a buy-low option, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll settle for low. Shin-Soo Choo would be great, but his price tag is probably going to rapidly outpace the Cubs’ desire to stick to value deals right now. Short of a trade, the Cubs may have to try and pick up a guy like Nate McClouth (eh) or take a chance on a guy like Mike Morse (defense eh).
Beyond that, we could be looking at an outfield rotation of Nate Schierholtz, Ryan Sweeney, Junior Lake and a couple more from the Casper Wells/Josh Vitters/Brian Bogusevic type contingent. At least until/unless guys like Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Szczur or Brett Jackson show they can contribute. In other words … it’s not looking like a particularly compelling outfield.