The New York Mets reportedly reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson on a 4-year, $60 million contract on Friday.
I have to admit that I didn’t think it was really going to happen – after all, we’ve had some front office fake outs and it’s been nearly four years since the Mets have added a star free agent. (I really hope Granderson works out better than Jason Bay.)
Granderson brings some excitement to our hot stove season, and gives Sandy Alderson a bit more flexibility to make trades at the winter meetings next week. (At least one of Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, or Daniel Murphy won’t be in the Opening Day lineup, in all likelihood. Hopefully Alderson can package one of his limited, but useful players with Ike Davis or Lucas Duda to obtain a starting pitcher or shortstop.)
But before we get too excited, let’s remember that Granderson is basically replacing Marlon Byrd. We can expect a little more power from him than we got from Byrd this year, but we’ll also get more strikeouts and a notably lower batting average.
And I would guess that the Mets are done looking at the free agent market except for some January bargain shopping. Chris Young and Granderson probably account for most of the money that Alderson had to allocate to new player acquisitions.
The success of the 2014 Mets lineup is going to hinge on Travis d’Arnaud, and whoever plays first base and shortstop as much as Alderson’s outfield upgrades.
Granderson wasn’t the most notable player who reportedly agreed to contract terms in Friday’s free agent frenzy. That would be Robinson Cano, who will be playing for the Seattle Mariners through his 40th birthday, earning $240 million.
Not to be outdone, the New York Yankees have reportedly agreed to terms with Carlos Beltran on a three-year deal worth $45 million that will keep him in pinstripes through his 39th birthday.
Even the Boston Red Sox made a small splash, reportedly reaching a two-year, $32 million contract agreement to retain Mike Napoli.
If you think Major League Baseball free agent contracts are getting a bit out of hand, MLB Trade Rumors has some numbers that back up that idea. With just 55 players signed to date, MLB teams have already handed out contract commitments totaling $1.238 billion. To put that in perspective, last off-season, teams committed $1.393 billion to 112 free agents.
It’s a brave new world… let’s hope the Mets can afford to play in it and that the made the right choice with Granderson.