With Granderson in Tow, the Mets Look to Keep Moving Forward
The New York Mets got their man in Curtis Granderson, reportedly locking up the three-time All-Star outfielder to a four-year deal worth $60 million.
Granderson was on the Mets' radar for awhile, and to me, it's a really encouraging sign for the Mets that they were able to sign a significant player that they had targeted on the open market.
It's unfortunate, but it's been an obvious conundrum for years now that the Mets are in a tricky situation in which the market is inflating at a rapid rate, with the Mets' financial resources seemingly unable to match it.
Many, including myself, had feared that there would be no way for the Mets to convince a good baseball player to sign with them without a significant overpay in either years or dollars, or maybe both.
I predicted about a month ago here on The Shea Faithful that Granderson would likely require a three- or four-year deal. I don't think the $15 million average annual value is an overpay in this market.
The fourth guaranteed year? I can see that being considered an overpay. It's probably one year too many. But frankly, this was a move the Mets had to make, and they did not get swindled.
Whether or not you believe Granderson's deal with the Mets is a good one in a vacuum, I think there's no doubt that it's a positive development for the Mets in the grand (sorry) scheme of things.
Right now, four months before the start of the 2014 MLB season, the Mets have an outfield of Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young. That's three guys with center field experience.
You could easily make the case it's the strongest defensive outfield the Mets have had since Carlos Beltran was manning center in his prime, and it should make a big difference in Citi Field's spacious outfield.
But the biggest thing about the Mets adding a guy like Granderson is the impact it can have on others. Not just as lineup protection for David Wright, but as a sign to players, agents and even fans that the Mets mean business.
In this city, talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever idiom you want to use. The Mets have spoken out of both sides of their mouth long enough that it's hard to respect their credibility.
Signing Granderson builds credibility. Going out and spending scores of millions of dollars on a guy makes for a much bigger statement than anything anyone in the organization can say.
The biggest impact this move can have is being a stepping stone towards rebuilding that credibility around the league, and proving to the skeptics that the Mets are finally going to put their money where their mouth is.
Whether it's Jayson Werth to the Nationals, or Robinson Cano to Seattle, signings like this are valuable not just for the impact the player has on the field, but for the impact it has on the team's standing in the baseball world.
Granderson cannot be the final piece of the puzzle. Far from it. But he's the biggest, most significant piece the Mets have added in the post-Madoff era.
Now, the focus must shift towards finding a legitimate starting shortstop, bolstering the pitching staff, and perhaps if we're lucky, adding a left-handed outfield bat to platoon with Chris Young.
It's not "mission accomplished" for the Mets, but if Granderson's addition leads to move activity towards improving the team, it'll be worth every penny before he even steps on the field.