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Bring Back Curtis Granderson

Yesterday, there were two bits of relatively important news. First, we discovered Curtis Granderson intends to play another season. Second, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said the team was not prioritizing the outfield as he believes the team is set there partially because Jeff McNeil is going to move out there.

There are a number of ways to interpret Van Wagenen’s statement with the most likely being the team is not going to sign an everyday outfielder. This means no Bryce Harper or even A.J. Pollock. We can discuss the wisdom of that decision, and we definitely should, but at the moment, the question is whether the Mets are really set in the outfield.

The team should be comfortable with Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto playing everyday. Past that, there is little reason to believe the Mets have a player who should be playing everyday.

Juan Lagares could be an everyday player for his glove alone, and he showed some promise at the plate. With a new approach, he hit .339/.375/.390 in very limited duty. Certainly, you could argue with this being his contract year and with Chili Davis being the new hitting coach, Lagares is primed for a big season. However, that overlooks the fact he has not played at least 95 games since 2015.

Behind him is Keon Broxton. Over the past two years, Broxton has hit .213/.296/.419. For all of the compliments of his defense, in his only full season in center, Broxton had a -7 DRS and a -2.6 UZR. Even as a part-time player, you really can’t rely on him producing.

Past Lagares and Broxton are Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco. These are two players who are over 35 years old, and they have not been productive Major League players since 2015, and it is hard to imagine 2019 will be the year they turn back the clock.

This places much onus on McNeil. There is every reason to believe McNeil can adapt to the outfield, and even with his questionable peripherals, there is a sufficient basis to believe he can hit at the Major League level. Fact is, he’s a Major League caliber player.

However, the Mets infield has a lot of age. Robinson Cano is 36. Todd Frazier will soon turn 33, and he is coming off his first injury plagued season. Behind both of them is Jed Lowrie, who has been quite good the past two years, but he will be 35 next year. When you factor in the possibility Peter Alonso may not be ready, and you are in a position where McNeil may be needed to return to the infield thereby leaving a thin outfield another outfielder short.

Granderson may be older, but he has always been durable. More importantly, Granderson has remained a productive player, and he effectively transitioned to being a part-time player. Last year, Granderson hit .242/.351/.431 with a 115 OPS+. As a pinch hitter, Granderson hit .375/.483/.500, and that doesn’t include the big pinch hit double he had in Game 5 of the NLCS.

The days of Granderson playing everyday are long gone. Still, Granderson is capable of playing for long stretches in a pinch, and he is someone who you want in your clubhouse mentoring your younger players like Alonso and McNeil. He’s a popular player, and he is someone who has shown the ability to play well in a Mets uniform.

Granderson may not be perfect, but the Mets don’t need perfect. They need a good player and someone who compliments this roster. Right now, that player is Granderson, and he should be back wearing his number three in blue and orange.

11 thoughts on “Bring Back Curtis Granderson”

  1. OldBackstop says:

    I love Curtis, but with our age, as you correctly pointed out, we need another IF/OF type as a final piece. Like a Josh Harrison-type. Or like Josh Harrison.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Getting Grandy allows McNeil to be that IF/OF type. I’d also note Grandy is still a better player than Harrison.

  2. OldBackstop says:

    Hey, I’ll never badmouth Grandy, I hope he’s a manager doan the road. But he’s 38, seven years older than Harrison. Their numbers were pretty similar last gear, and Harrison does play IF/OF. I do not have a mancrush on MCNeil…if he hits .280 next year with no power or speed while learning the OF at the major league lrvel, the halo will be gone pretty fast.

    Grandy will be cheap and competing with Rajal Davis and Broxton (and McNeil) for time….but for spring training, we seem thin there anyway.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Harrison and Grandy did not have similar numbers last year

      1. OldBackstop says:

        They both had 300 something ABs. Harrison had an 0.6 oWAR and Grandy had an 0.3 oWAR Iin 2017 Harrison had a WAR of 3.3 and was an All Star. Grandy had an WAR of -0.1.

        Harrison is 31 and plays IF and OF. Granderson is 38 and plays corner OF.

        At least admit this. If Grandy’s name was Joe Bagadonuts you would be laughing at your position.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Grandy 116 wRC+.

          Harrison 78 wRC+.

          It’s not even close.

          1. OldBackstop says:

            Their OPS+ in 2018 were both (remarkably) 83. I would go for someone seven years younger with position flexibilty. Same with women.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            That’s wrong. Granderson’s OPS+ was 115, and Harrison’s was 80.

          3. OldBackstop says:

            Yeah you’re right, MD, I read it wrong.
            I just feel we need someone younger and preferably IF/OF.

            Just psychologically wise, maybe it is good to break with the past a little…Wilmer, Cabrera, Blevins, Grandy.

          4. metsdaddy says:

            I care more about talent than fan psychology

  3. Julian Ho says:

    I agree, bring back Grandy Man!
    He would be a great addition to the clubhouse.

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