No Curtis Granderson for the Cubs: Four Years and $60 Million from the Mets

curtis granderson yankeesThere’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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

212 responses to “No Curtis Granderson for the Cubs: Four Years and $60 Million from the Mets”

  1. Bones

    Not sad at all about the outfield. Dumb money is being thrown at these players and we do not need to commit that type of crazy money to a 33yo OF coming off two subpar seasons. Choo is now out of our range so we run with who we have. Shocker… We where not going to contend this year anyway.

  2. frank

    “In other words … it’s not looking like a particularly compelling outfield.”

    Now there’s an understatement.

  3. Cubman

    “It’s not looking like a particularly compelling outfield.”

    This is another way of saying “crappy”.

  4. bob

    I guess the cubs are getting scraps again count me out for cubs games next year

  5. Eric

    I had hoped we could land someone like Granderson but not for that kind of money. Here’s hoping Bryant and Baez start the season on a tear and forces the FO’s hand a bit.

  6. North Side Irish

    That actually sounds like a VERY compelling outfield…to the people who want to bash the front office and ownership…

  7. Gabe Athouse

    Wow, our outfield is going to be bad. But I’d take these guys over spending any money on Cruz. That I know.

  8. MightyBear

    The one thing I will take from all of these signings is that if/when the Cubs need FA’s to help put them over the top, they aren’t going to be cheap. I don’t see salaries going down or even leveling out at this point. If they still go cheap even when the kids get there, I’m going to be pissed. As it is, there is nobody that has been signed so far that I thought, man, the Cubs should have been in on him. Nobody signed has made sense for the Cubs at the price they were signed at. Indeed the only transaction I wish the Cubs would’ve been in on was Fister and only because I think the Tigers gave him away.

    1. willis

      But weren’t you certain that Ellsbury would be the cubs’ center fielder and leadoff man? Now you’re singing a different tune saying that none of the guys that have been inked make sense. Hmmm.

      I said this long ago. The outfield will be Lake/Sweeney/Schierholtz. Don’t expect anything else or for sure anything better. The only guys that made/make sense cost way too much for a FO with no money and an owner who won’t spend.

      1. BT

        How is saying “I’d like Ellsbury in CF” and “Ellsbury signed for way too much money” mutually exclusive statements? I’m not sure what’s making you say “Hmmm” there Arsenio.

        1. willis

          I don’t know, maybe it was that on damn near every article he was telling us all that Ellsbury would be the cubs’ CF. And when someone would call it, then he would repeat it, stating that was going to be the case. Now that Ellsbury signed with the yanks, and the cubs weren’t even kinda in on him, it’s “I didn’t want any of these guys anyway, too expensive.”

          It’s not just MB, it’s every blind believer singing the same tune after every signing.

      2. cub4life

        What about Bogusevic? I still don’t know if Lake is going to be the man out there. We will have to see how he does in ST to see if last year was a abberation or not.

  9. Randy

    Wont be attending or spending one dime on this product.

    1. mjhurdle

      no worries, im upping my expenditures on the Cubs this year, so I should be able to cover your missing dimes :)

      1. Dave

        You’ll have to cover me too since I have no intention of giving Ricketts one cent of my money.

    2. T-Bone

      Yeah. Im preety sure he meant in on them at the price point at which they signed.

  10. Mike

    I don’t see the cubs situation getting any better anytime soon. It’s going to be another long losing season with a bunch of below average players. I’m all for building from within, but you have to sign a proven veteran with talent now and then to at least be competitive!! I’m starting to lose faith in the front office. I don’t know if I can watch another year of double A ball talent in the major leagues again next year. This is just getting frustrating!

    1. willis

      Indeed. Being a fan of a purposely tanking team is no fun. And they have no plans to win anytime soon.

      1. Rebuilding

        After being one of the most pessimistic people on this board awhile ago and being attacked over and over for saying 2016 is the year, I am now far more optimistic that we will be at least a .500 team in 2015 and might compete for the WC. I think we will sign Tanaka. I think we will trade Shark for a nice package that includes a MLB ready arm (my guess is Skaggs and Eaton). I think Baez and Bryant will play the last half of 2014 at 2b and 3b and I think people are completely underestimating the impact they will have. I also think it’s possible we put together a package for Anderson.

        Come 2015 I think we will add another TOR arm through trade of some prospects who are blocked such as Alcantera/Vogelbach. I think CJ Edwards will be ready by midseason and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Soler or Almora can come up and help the last 2 months. Will we have enough – probably not, but I think we’ll make it interesting.

        1. Brains

          all rote speculation. optimism is a nice personal disposition, but it’s a terrible predictor of bureaucratic organization. all practical signs indicate that the ricketts are cock blocking theo from building the team. he’s doing a good job with the minors, and a severely substandard job being creative with finding talent for the mlb team without a pool of money. basically he’s a rich kid who had deep pockets in boston. he doesn’t know how to live a middle class lifestyle on the middle class team.

      2. TK

        No plans to win . . .? Are you serious? So, you must believe they really are NOT in on Tanaka and really DONT want to extend Shark. If they can keep Shark and sign Tanaka, they could have. Heck of a rotation ome 2015 ( possibly including Vizcaino). If Castro and Rizzo get straight, and you add Baez, Alcantara & Bryant all by the start of 2015 . . . Thats no plans to win? Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.

    2. Cheese Chad

      “but you have to sign a proven veteran with talent now and then to at least be competitive!!”. Do you?

  11. Dr. Leroy Quackenbush

    Just a weird off season. A bad MLB product is on the field and we get a mendoza line hitting back-up catcher (I know his OBP is decent) and a decent lefty reliever who is non-tendered. With those two moves you would think minor tweaking is all this line-up needed. I still don’t remember why the Cubs can’t spend money.

    1. Cedlandrum

      They will spend some money, but right now they aren’t going to do a lot of deals, because if you do you are going to pay the premium on these guys. If the Cubs wait the prices will come down on some of the guys they will actually target. You will see them sign guys like they did last year and the year before. Low cost, high reward type players.

      Ultimately if there is much of a difference in the roster this year for the team it will be because of trades and not free agent signings. I could see them trading for someone like Logan Morrison. They will probably trade Shark. Despite the craziness of the last few days with signings it is still very early in the offseason as far as deals are concerned.

    2. BABIP (MichCubFan)

      Kottaras has been a slightly above average hitter over the last 3 years or so. It does not matter what his batting average was. If anything that made him undervalued by other teams, which means he was available to us at a cheap price. Good addition. The lefty reliever was also a good addition.

      There is a lot of off-season left and we will make some moves. They spent a pretty good amount in free agency last year, and they could very well be doing the same thing this year.

      Just don’t look for big named free agents who will end up getting payed $15+ mill. per year for 5+ years at the age of 32. They are smart and do not want those kind of players at this point unless a certain player would really make sense.

  12. woody

    More insanity. I was hoping we could get him on a two year deal. After this Cano deal I have to wonder what the remaining FA’s are thinking? I would think that the way contracts are trending that it is less likely Shark is going to budge too much on his asking price. I can only imagine what will come two years from now. Considering what Shark will make the next two years in arbitration alone he would be far from destitute if his gamble for free agency didn’t pay off. Considering the upside that he has he would be stupid to settle for what the FO is offering. Back to Granderson. With Soler and Almora a couple years away I hope that they pick up an outfielder with some thump in his bat. Corey Hart comes to mind. I’m not privy to medical reports so I can only speculate. But he has really hurt the Cubs with his bat and it would be nice to have him hitting in back of Rizzo.

    1. Melrosepad

      I’ve read somewhere that Hart’s agents are marketing him as a 1st baseman only for this season. Something about giving his legs an extra year before handling the grind in the outfield.

    2. mjhurdle

      pretty sure I saw that Hart has been cleared medically to play. Would be interesting to see what kind of deal he is looking for.

  13. mister_rob

    Folks can come up with any excuse they like, but if going into season 3 of the rebuild with that kind of OF is the best the most praised front office ever can come up with, color me extremely unimpressed

    Not a single proven everyday OFer on the roster. Pathetic

    1. matty ice

      But, but, but… the plan

    2. gocatsgo2003

      I dobut it’s the “best” the front office can come up with, but it may best fit the longer-term goals.

  14. BenW

    I think the main issue is that the Cubs definition of surplus value will need to change. I like the idea of market inefficiencies, but that only goes as far as expectations. This may be the market value for players, and next year’s FA class is pretty bad. If we keep avoiding FA, we are going to have lots of money, and no one to pay. I’d like to see the Cubs involved on Choo if possible, even if a slight overpay is necessary.

  15. clark addison

    Let’s not throw Junior Lake under the bus quite yet. I think he’s got the athleticism to be a solid major league outfielder.

    No sense spending big bucks on aging placeholders when Almora, Soler, and Bryant are waiting in the wings.

  16. The Huch

    This is the year that a healthy Brett Jackson is going to break camp with the big league team.

    1. oswego chris

      if by a “healthy” Brett jackson you mean he has rid himself of nocontactitis…

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Ah, if only we could merge Jackson’s batting eye and Vitters’ contact skills…..

    2. Jon

      Who cares if he’s healthy and breaks camp, he will still strike out 30% of the time.

  17. MightyBear

    Logan Morrison is being shopped by the Marlins. He is somebody I think the Cubs should explore getting. He hasn’t produced like people thought he would but he could be a very useful player for the Cubs and he is only 25. He could spell Rizzo at first, he could play left and platoon with Lake and he could DH during interleague games. He is also under team control through 2017. A change of scenery could do him good.

    1. sans

      Good call.

      While Granderson and Hughes were 2 guys I really wanted the Cubs to pursue, I could live with the Cubs’ lack of free-agent endeavors if they become creative in the trade market. Someone like Logan Morrison makes a ton of sense.

    2. Lou Brock

      Marlins looking for a 3B so Cubs should offer Olt for Morrison straight up.

      1. sans

        That’s not crazy.

        1. Joker

          Yes. It most definitely is.

          1. terencemann

            The Cubs don’t need a first baseman.

  18. Rebuilding

    Cliche time: It’s always darkest right before the dawn. It seems the Ricketts bashers are out in force this winter. It is a shame because we are a lot closer now to having the kind of organization and sustained MLB success we all want than at any time in my 40 years.

    (1) We now have a guy considered one of the top executives in the game running the organization

    (2) We have a front office that at least understands the saber portion of evaluation

    (3) We have an owner trying to spend $500 million to update the stadium. We have a new spring training complex. We have new facilities in the Caribbean

    (4) We are spending more on scouting than at any other time

    (5) We spent more on IFA than any other team by a mile

    (6) We now have a Top 5 farm system in all of baseball, including 2 of the Top 15 prospects who will both be up to the big club as early as this year

    (7) We seem to have a plan of actually developing those prospects, which didn’t appear to be the case before

    It is just way too early to say Ricketts is cheap. If we don’t make a very serious effort to get Tanaka then I think its a more apt discussion. But no Cano, Ellsbury and Granderson on grandiose contracts proves nothing

    I’ve said before that I don’t think the lack of spending has anything to do with Ricketts – I think it is all about Theo’s ego. He wants a monster to compete with the Red Sox. To get that he likely had to get several very high picks which meant stripping it down to the bone. It also had the advantage of appearing like they weren’t trying at the MLB level so his genius wouldn’t be questioned. Well, we’ve done that and will do it one more year. And then look out

    1. Randy

      you must be related to the family. ( rebuild and spend at the same time ) quite a concept, YES

      1. Rebuilding

        Randy, long before I remember your name around here I was advocating just that. Along with Kyle I don’t think anyone advocated it so much. That ship has sailed, that’s not the direction they took

    2. DarthHater

      Haven’t you been paying attention, Rebuilding? None of that matters because we don’t have a single proven everyday OFer on the roster.

    3. Borocks

      What else is there to be said??? Perfect!!!!!!

  19. Jono

    Whatever, I didnt want grandy anyway. Who cares? This is all your fault, brett!

    1. DarthHater

      Hey, weren’t you warned yesterday about being so rude? :-P

      1. Jono

        Kind of, but it wasn’t Stephanie-Tanner-style enough. So brett will just have to deal with me

  20. Mike F

    Just be patient and wait tip 2019 it’s gonna be a hell of a year……

  21. Jon

    Why does every missed FA signing have to be accompanied by a “shrug, too expensive, wouldn’t have fit here…..”

    Granderson probably would have been a nice bridge to Almora, Solar….

    1. WGNstatic

      For the same reason that people bitched about Soriano for the last few years. Sure, he used to be a star, but he hasn’t been for a few years. Paying big money to hope that a guy in his mid thirties regains his late twenties form seems pretty silly to me.

      1. Jono

        Soriano was 7 years. People would’ve had a different view of him if his contract ended after the 2010 season

        1. WGNstatic

          Soriano’s contract was actually 8 years I am pretty sure.

          In both players cases, their peak OPS+ season was their age 30 season (Soriano’s Washington season and Granderson’s first year in NY). From their they both trended down. In Granderson’s age 32 season (last year) he posted his lowest OPS+ since his rookie year. For Soriano, the low water mark came in his age 33 season (the forgettable 2009 season). For a 4 year contract to Granderson now, you would be paying Granderson for his age 33-36 seasons, which were precisely the same age seasons that Cubs fans were decrying Soriano’s bloated contract.

          Obviously this is just two players, my I will stand by my point that hoping a player reverts to his 29 or 30 year old self in his age 33-36 seasons seems a bit foolish, and I for one am glad the Cubs didn’t go down that road.

          1. cms0101

            It was 8 years. He signed for the 2007 season.

            1. Jono

              Yea, 8 years. Even worse.

          2. Jono

            He wouldn’t have to hit 40 homers again. And the liability is much much less. Lessbrisk.

            1. Jono

              Lessbrisk = less risk

          3. Rebuilding

            He’s trending down, but the move to a new ballpark and the fact he really shouldn’t be playing CF anymore would be bigger concerns. Yankee Stadium likely tacked on about 50 points of OPS at his peak

            1. Jono

              He’d be getting a lot more if teams expected 40 homers a year out if him. $60 over 4 isn’t a whole lot these days. Choo and ellsbury are expected to get over $100 million. Granderson’s expected decline is already priced in

              1. Jono

                And his bat would play a lot better in right than ellsbury’s or choo’s

                1. Rebuilding

                  Huh? Career Lines

                  Choo: .288 .389 .465 .854
                  Granderson: .261 .340 .488 .828

                  Grnderson’s bat wouldn’t play anywhere better than Choo’s other than on the bench. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that Choo seems to be getting better (423 OBP) last year while the wheels fell off Granderson

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Because, deep down, what fans want is for the FO of their favorite team to convince good players to join that team for a “reasonable” contract.

      1. MightyBear

        Unless you’re the Yankees. Then you want the FO to convince good players to join that team.

    3. Jono

      Normally I advocate for not spending big money. Not this time, though. I would’ve liked to see granderson sign with the cubs for that contract (or maybe the even $64 million just to out bid the mets)

      But it doesn’t bother me. Im confident in the future. Ill only mildly complain in a sarcastic way. It’s not worth bitching about

      1. Rebuilding

        $60 million for a guy who will be 33 in March and has benefitted tremendously from the little porch in RF at Yankee Stadium, yet put up this slash line last year: .229 .317 .407 .723

        I’m all for the FO not wasting money on guys like that

        1. bbmoney

          Last year probably isn’t the best 1 year sample to look at for a guy who had only 245 PAs because of two separate injuries because of HBP’s.

          1. Jono

            Right, and I believe those were freak injuries

            1. bbmoney

              Yeah getting hit by pitches falls into that category in my book. Now…at least one was near his wrist/hand….so that could be a power sapping injury, but I don’t think many were worried his specific injury was a big deal in that regard.

              1. Jono

                Haha, I didn’t read all the way to the end of your comment where you mentioned HBP. My bad. And maybe that injury did worry the cubs FO. That’s a possibility

          2. Rebuilding

            Or it could be that he is turning 33 in March. Yankee Stadium helped his numbers tremendously. And he can’t really play CF very well anymore. No thanks

        2. Jono

          I just don’t see $60 over 4 being all that much (relatively, of course). Power doesn’t fade as fast as speed (ellsbury). Sure, the short porch helped him, but he had enough power that there is room for a little regression. Plus it’s 4 years, not 7 (again, ellsbury). So the regression thing isn’t a deal breaker for me. And they gave jackson just about that much and he should be better than “just about” edwin jackson.

  22. WGNstatic

    A bit off topic, but I have been thinking about whether or not Tanaka will be posted.

    I am not sure why his team would post him this offseason, and not just wait until next year. Regardless of whether he is posted now, or 12 months from now, their return will be identical.

    An interesting unintended consequence of the new posting rules may be that teams have little reason to not just wait until the last year possible to post their players. Previously, their was a bit of an incentive to post players earlier, as the team and the players effectively split the windfall contract (both Matsuzaka and Darvish got about 1/2 the total $ outlay and the other half went to the posting fee). Under the old rules, if a player were posted in the offseason before their walk year, they would feasibly just stay in Japan for the final year, thus giving themselves far more bargaining power as a free agent, thus, a team hoping for the big posting fee would not wait until that final season to post their top players. That motivation is now, effectively, gone. If I were running the Golden Eagles (his current team) I would certainly hold on to him for another year, why not?

    1. oswego chris

      especially when you thought you might be getting $70 million a few short weeks ago…ouch…

    2. MightyBear

      Personally, I hope they don’t post Tanaka until next year.

      1. woody

        I’m with you on that one mighty bear. If he doesn’t get posted there is going to be a feeding frenzy for Shark and Price. I personally don’t think they come to terms with Jeff. With these crazy signing happening I would think that just gives Samardzija more reason to bet on himself. That Fister deal was an wasn’t indicative of the true market values. Personally I know there is a lot of disappointment here with predictions of a 95 loss season coming. I can accept another off year if it accomplishes something. For a deal with the right prospects and a half a season of Baez and Bryant I will be satisfied. I predict Renteria will be much better than Sveum in the motivational department. If some of these guys step up then maybe the FO will be forced to think of 2015 as a year we compete and spend some money.

        1. MightyBear

          Agree with everything you said.

  23. Patrick G

    I wouldn’t mind Morse if the price was right. He has battled injuries of late and dealt with hitting in Seattle’s big park. Although his defense is meh, he could produce big numbers if he’s healthy

  24. Sacko

    This gives a pretty good indication on what Choo and Cruz are going to get, considering that neither are a fit for us. I don’t think Shark will be traded this winter in which there woundn’t be a starting OF anyway. Tanaka signing is getting confusing so who really knows what happens there and if he is even in America for anyone. Could be another long year.

  25. forlines

    Never allowed myself to fall that hard for Granderson; would’ve been nice, say, 3 or 4 years ago, but with his injuries and age, that would be far too much for the Cubs to take on. I wouldn’t mind taking McClouth on the cheap though.

  26. emrac

    happy he’s not coming here. Rather watch Junior and somebody else

  27. sans

    So far, the only free-agent signing that bugs me – in regards to the Cubs’ lack of execution – is Philip Hughes. Minnesota has had a nice offseason.

    I would have liked Granderson, but I can’t kill the Cubs for not going 4/$60.

    1. terencemann

      I would argue the Cubs have a Phil Hughes except they won’t owe him 24 MM over the next 3 seasons.

      1. sans

        Who?

    2. RotoChamp

      While we don’t know the deals that might have fallen through, in hindsight these are the only deals I wish the Cubs had made:

      Dan Haren 1yr/$10 (but he would not have signed here)
      Josh Johnson 1yr/$8 (again, would not have signed with Cubs)
      Phil Hughes 3yr/$24 (borderline, would have loved him at 2yr/$16)
      Ryan Webb 2yr/$4.5 (i like Wes Wright much better, though)

      +

      I would have added Kottaras and Wright to this list had they signed elsewhere for the same amount.

      Of course, everybody would have loved to get Fister for nothing, also.

      Overall, I’d have to say I am very pleased with the FO at this stage of the offseason.

      1. Rebuilding

        Good list. Some really nice sanity there

      2. North Side Irish

        Agree on most of these…not sure about going 3 years for Hughes. I would have liked to add Gregerson too. A’s only gave up a platoon OFer for him and the Cubs have plenty of those to spare.

  28. cubsfan22

    Hey Brett do you see the Mariners as a fit for shark? And if so would you see maybe a shark,voglebach and sheirholtz for Sp/Hultzen,Rp/Carson smith,Sp/Victor sanchez and,Of/ Julio morban C/Tyler malette

    1. cubsfan22

      Morban could start the season in the outfield

    2. cubsfan22

      This trade would benefit both te
      ams imo

      1. mdavis

        i dont think you add anyone to shark. that wouldnt make sense. and i mentioned hultzen on a different thread, someone said he has a bum shoulder and might miss all ’14?

    3. North Side Irish

      Hultzen just had rotator cuff surgery in October and will miss most of 2014. I don’t think you can trade Samardzija and Vogelbach for a package headlined by a guy with that many questions.

      1. cubsfan22

        You do know we r talking about the cubs right and i think with this kind of package we could afford to wait an extra year for hultzen

        1. North Side Irish

          Yep. I also know that not everyone comes all the way back from rotator cuff surgery. Mark Mulder was never the same after his. I just don’t think you trade away your best chip for damaged goods.

    4. YourResidentJag

      Much rather it be the Braves.

  29. Indy57

    Corey Hart looked like an intriguing FA coming back from knee surgery. His last salary of $10 million seems like a good one year “prove it” contract perhaps ladened with incentives. The question is around his mobility/ability to play the outfield. The Brewers were said to be wooing to bring him back to play 1B and he expressed the desire to come back raps on a hometown discount. Any further news there. If his health is good, he might be a 1-2 year flippable asset.

    Aslo, Any news on Grady Sizemore? That rumor was hot for a few days well. Same kind of deal might appeal to him. Get him on a contender mid-2014.

    Both are risks, but potentially good value. Also would guess they both might be January/February signings.

    1. Brains

      at this point we’ll be lucky to sign the often injured hard or sizemores of the world. our best chance, since the team’s reputation is so low right now with players, is to sign someone like mark reynolds, and hope he only strikes out 190 times.

  30. MightyBear

    Astros signed Scott Feldman to 3/30 million contract. Watch out for the Astros in a few years.

    1. YourResidentJag

      I’d say so.

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