Mets Getting Closer with Curtis Granderson

Yankees newsTalks between free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets have picked up, and the club is getting optimistic about their chances of landing the lefty power bat according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

The 32 year-old Granderson hit 84 home runs between 2011-12, the most in the majors. Two separate occasions on which he got hit by a pitch caused him to miss all but 61 games of the 2013 season. When healthy, he produced a .229/.307/.417 line with a 97 wRC+ and 1.4 fWAR.

Granderson took advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short porch. 19 percent of his flyballs left the yard while with the Yankees, compared to 12.2 percent during his tenure with the Tigers. If he signs with the Mets, this ratio will go down.

Citi Field is a neutral park with regards to lefty power hitters, while only Coors Field is a better park than Yankee Stadium for lefty power.

Though he hit a career-high 43 home runs in 2012, other facets of Granderson’s game suffered. He stole only 10 bases, compared to 25 the year before. Also, his strikeout rate jumped from 24.5 percent to 28.5 percent, which sent his batting average and on-base percentage down from .262 and .364 to .232 and .319, respectively. His bat appeared to have slowed down, as his swing and miss rate went to career highs, and his contact rates on pitches in the zone plummeted. Finally, his defensive play in centerfield suffered.

With the Mets, Granderson would probably split time between centerfield and the corner outfield spots, depending on how much time defensive wizard Juan Lagares and free-agent acquisition Chris Young spend in center. At this point in his career, he’s probably better suited for left or right field, where he spent time in 2013 and acquitted himself well.

The Mets or whoever signs Granderson won’t get the MVP-candidate version that we saw in 2007 or 2011, and fantasy players can’t expect that kind of production either. More likely, he’ll be a low-average hitter with solid power who contributes a little on defense and the basepaths. Steamer Projections calls for a .233/.326/.442 line with 26 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 2.2 fWAR.

That’s decent production, but probably not worth three or four years at $15 million per year.

 

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