Curtis Granderson Rumors

New York Notes: Reynolds, Logan, Gardner, Mets

Earlier today the Mets introduced Curtis Granderson at a press conference. Here's the latest news out of the New York market with the Winter Meetings in full swing…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to several reporters today, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, and noted that he's been in contact with the agents for Mark Reynolds and Boone Logan (Twitter link).
  • Hoch also tweets that the Yanks are receiving many calls on Brett Gardner but aren't shopping him. Cashman said he didn't sign Jacoby Ellsbury to trade Gardner.
  • The Star-Ledger's Andy McCullough tweets that in addition to Gardner, the Yanks have received calls on Ivan Nova, Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy (Twitter link).
  • Cashman also said that Michael Pineda is healthy and will compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training (Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweeting).
  • Hoch adds that Cashman thinks it will be easier to sign a free agent pitcher than to work out a trade for rotation help.
  • Newsday's David Lennon reports that the Mets will meet with the representatives for Freddy Garcia, Cesar Izturis and Johan Santana today (Twitter link). The team sees a good fit with that group of veterans.
  • Granderson confirmed to reporters, including Newsday's Marc Carig, that the Mets were the lone team to offer four years (Twitter link).

Mets Sign Curtis Granderson

The Mets have officially signed Curtis Granderson to a four-year deal, the team announced today. Granderson's new contract, which doesn't include a no-trade clause, will pay him $13MM in 2014, $16MM in 2015 and 2016, and $15MM in 2017, for a total of $60MM overall. Granderson is represented by agent Matt Brown of Pro Prospects, Inc.

Granderson-CurtisGranderson, 33 in March, would likely have been in for a bigger payday had it not been for a fluke season that saw him miss 100 games on the DL as a result of getting hit by a pair of pitches. When he was on the field, The Grandy Man batted .229/.317/.407 with seven homers and eight steals in 245 plate appearances.

However, the Mets are likely paying for the production that Granderson displayed in the 2011-12 seasons, during which he batted .247/.342/.522 with an MLB-best 84 home runs. Many detractors will try to claim that Granderson is a product of Yankee Stadium, but as I explained in my free agent profile, that's simply not the case; Granderson belted 47 homers at Yankee Stadium in 2011-12 but still went deep 37 times on the road. He benefited to an extent from Yankee Stadium, but as shown by his .244/.339/.493 line on the road, Granderson is more than capable of hitting in other stadiums. Those concerned about his platoon splits can look to his .249/.351/.521 batting line and 127 wRC+ against left-handers from 2011-12. I projected a three-year, $45MM contract in that profile, meaning that Brown and Granderson topped my expectation by getting a fourth year at the same annual value.

Granderson figures to play an outfield corner in Queens, with Juan Lagares manning center field and Chris B. Young (who signed a one-year, $7.25MM contract with the Mets) handling the other corner spot. In Young and Granderson, the Mets have added some much-needed power to their lineup while also adding solid outfield defense. Granderson's glove graded out strongly in 2013, and the move to a corner should help him continue to post strong defensive numbers,

The Mets emerged as the top suitors for Granderson in previous days but were previously reported to be unwilling to up their offer from three years to four. By signing Granderson, the Mets are agreeing to forfeit their second-round pick in next year's draft (their first-rounder is protected). Special assistant J.P. Ricciardi told me at last month's GM Meetings that the Mets would be willing to make that move for the "right" player, but that signing two free agents tied to draft pick compensation was unlikely.

Granderson was also linked to the Red Sox as a possible replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury and said to have drawn interest from teams like the Mariners and Orioles. The Yankees, of course, had interest in retaining Granderson as well. Instead, they will receive a compensatory pick between the first and second round of the 2014 draft — the second such pick they've acquired today, given the news that Robinson Cano is headed to Seattle on a ten-year deal.

The agreement was first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter), with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adding terms (Twitter link) and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links) adding further details.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


White Sox Notes: Sale, Quintana, Santiago, Uribe

The White Sox are open to discussing trades for Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi notes that Sale, who can be controlled for a whopping six years at just over $55MM, would command significantly more than even David Price could net the Rays. Morosi runs down a list of several reasons as to why it could make sense for the ChiSox to move their ace this offseason. Here are a few more links pertaining to the South Siders…

  • Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago spoke to White Sox GM Rick Hahn this morning (Twitter link). Hahn told Hayes that he wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't at least listen to offers, but he would need an "unfathomable" return to part with Sale.
  • One GM told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he thinks teams are pushing the White Sox to reconsider their unwillingness to part with Sale when asked this morning (Twitter link).
  • The White Sox are in the process of trying to bring Juan Uribe back to Chicago, reports David Vassegh of FOX Sports 570 AM Radio in Los Angeles (on Twitter). Uribe would fill a need for the Sox, though as GM Rick Hahn told me at last month's GM Meetings, his team prefers left-handed bats.
  • The White Sox never got involved on Chicago native Curtis Granderson, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Grandy Man signed a four-year, $60MM deal with the Mets last week.


Notes On Granderson, Beltran, Napoli

Robinson Cano's blockbuster contract with the Mariners has generated the most headlines, but on another wild day of free agency, there's plenty of more news to go around.  Here are some stray items about three of Friday's other major signings — Curtis Granderson's four-year deal with the Mets, Carlos Beltran's three-year deal with the Yankees and Mike Napoli re-signing with the Red Sox for two years.

  • The fourth year seemed to be the sticking point between Granderson and the Mets, but GM Sandy Alderson made the decision on Thursday night to offer the extra year and received approval from ownership, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (all Twitter links).
  • Granderson gives the Mets a much-needed outfield bat, ESPN's Keith Law writes, though with Granderson already showing signs of decline, Law figures the Mets are only really counting on him to produce in the first two years of his deal.  2015 could be the key year, as it appears the Mets are looking to contend once Matt Harvey is back from Tommy John surgery.
  • Also from Law, he thinks Beltran improves the Yankees lineup but it's a risky three-year commitment to a player entering his age-37 season.  An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read Law's pieces.
  • The Royals were rumored to have been the mystery team who made Beltran a three-year, $48MM offer earlier this week but a source tells ESPN's Jayson Stark that those rumors were "not accurate."  Kansas City's trade for Norichika Aoki on Thursday seemed to be a sign that they had moved on from the Beltran sweepstakes.
  • That larger offer could have come from the Diamondbacks, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the D'Backs offered Beltran a three-year deal worth more than the $45MM he received from New York.  The signing would have boosted Arizona's payroll, and Piecoro wonders if the Snakes are willing to surpass the $100MM-payroll threshold to fill their needs this winter, or if they were just focused on Beltran in particular.
  • Several members of the Red Sox roster urged the front office to up its offer to Napoli from two years/$30MM, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports.  The players were responding to a rumor that the Rangers had made an offer "too good for Napoli to refuse," and the Sox indeed upped their offer to $32MM.  The raise and the support from his teammates was enough to sway Napoli, who was already preferring to stay in Boston anyway.
  • The Rangers actually never made a formal offer to Napoli, one source told Bradford.

New York Notes: Granderson, Aoki, Choo

Free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson wants four years and $64MM, Newsday's Marc Carig reports. The Mets are interested in Granderson, but they don't want to offer a fourth year. Mike Puma of the New York Post, meanwhile, tweets that Granderson and the Mets probably won't be able to work out a deal tonight. Here are more notes from New York.

  • The Mets were interested in Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (on Twitter). The Brewers, however, liked pitcher Will Smith more than a player like Mets first baseman Ike Davis, so they shipped Aoki to the Royals instead.
  • If Robinson Cano goes to the Mariners or some other team, the Yankees could pursue Shin-Soo Choo instead, USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets. The Yankees, of course, already have plenty of outfielders, with Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki in addition to newcomer Jacoby Ellsbury, but after Cano, Choo is the next-best position player on the market.
  • Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says the Yankees are still hoping to keep their luxury-tax figure under $189MM, but they'll also prioritize fielding a strong team, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports. Steinbrenner says that the Yankees' offense was its "Achilles heel" in 2013, and they'll continue to look for hitting, as well as trying to re-sign starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

Granderson Seeking Four Years, $64MM

Yesterday it was reported that talks between Curtis Granderson and the Mets have intensified, and the Mets are becoming increasingly optimistic about their chances to land him. The Red Sox reportedly haven't ruled him out. The Diamondbacks, though they strongly desire a corner outfield bat with some power, aren't likely to be able to afford him. We'll keep track of today's Granderson rumors here…

  • The Mets believe they have a "decent" chance at signing Granderson but have yet to up their offer from three years to four, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Earlier Updates

  • Newsday's Marc Carig reports (via Twitter) that Granderson has been seeking a four-year deal worth $16MM annually. Carig goes on to clarify that the Mets aren't necessarily discussing a number that high at this time, but rather that $64MM is simply what Granderson is aiming for this offseason.
  • A guaranteed fourth year is still up for debate in Granderson negotiations, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. In a second tweet, he adds that the Mets may have to go four years to land him but aren't resigned to that yet.
  • Granderson's talks with the Mets are more advanced than they are with other teams, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Other teams remain in the mix, however.
  • Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald tweets that the Red Sox are more interested in right-handed outfield bats to complement Jackie Bradley Jr., so they don't see Granderson as a great fit.

NL Notes: Mets, Nats, Reds, Samardzija, Rockies, D-Backs

Here are the latest updates from the National League side of the ledger:

  • The Mets are increasingly expressing optimism about their efforts to bring Curtis Granderson into the fold, reports Marc Carig of Newsday, though nothing appears to be immiment. Joining the Mets in pursuit of Granderson are the White Sox and Mariners, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. If that does not work out for New York, says Puma, the club will "likely" turn its attention to Nelson Cruz.
  • After parting ways with two left-handed relief options in Fernando Abad and Ian Krol, the Nationals remain interested in adding Oliver Perez, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Kilgore says that the Mariners and Padres also have interest in the 32-year-old southpaw, who pitched to a 3.74 ERA in 53 innings last year for Seattle.
  • Echoing previous reportsReds GM Walt Jocketty says that the club has told second baseman Brandon Phillips that it is "not in any talks to trade him," reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Though Jocketty also noted that he could not rule out that possibility, he definitely left the impression that he is not actively shopping Phillips.
  • Jocketty also indicated that the club is likely going to keep Aroldis Chapman in the closer role rather than converting him to a starter, reports Sheldon. Though Cincinnati will keep the starting option on the table in the spring, Jocketty said that the club likes its depth at the present. As MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth wrote at the start of the off-season, the Reds could tinker with their rotation, but lack a pressing need to do so.
  • Though the latest scuttlebutt has Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija marked for trade talks, club president Theo Epstein says that the club still hopes to extend him, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Of course, Chicago could certainly be keeping both options on the table for the time being.
  • After trading away center fielder Dexter Fowler, the Rockies plan to shift Carlos Gonzalez over to fill the vacancy, reports the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). Meanwhile, the club is still shopping for relief pitchers, reports the Denver Post's Troy Renck (via Sulia), and may be most likely to add a bullpen arm via trade. 
  • The Diamondbacks are still looking to add a major piece, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, and GM Kevin Towers has indicated that the club would be willing to give up its first-round draft choice to sign a free agent who turned down a qualifying offer. Towers indicated that the club is most likely to add a starter via trade, leaving Piecoro to posit that the most likely open-market targets would be Granderson, Nelson Cruz, or Carlos Beltran.
  • Meanwhile, the D-Backs could be much more willing to deal pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs than they had been in the past, Piecoro writes. In fact, the club apparently recently explored just that possibility. Coming off of a down year that saw his velocity drop, however, the 22-year-old probably also has diminished trade value at the moment, Piecoro further notes.

D-Backs Looking To Trade Market For Ace, Power Bats

3:30pm: The Diamondbacks may also be looking to the trade market for power bats, according to a recent series of tweets from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal reports that the D-Backs and A's recently discussed a trade that would send Yoenis Cespedes to Arizona in exchange for Tyler Skaggs, A.J. Pollock and others. Both sides have cooled on the idea and backed off the trade at this time, however, and the A's would only trade Cespedes for a "monster" return, according to Rosenthal. Still, as he points out, it serves as an example that the Diamondbacks will be aggressive and creative in their search for a power bat in the outfield.

1:54pm: The Diamondbacks are motivated to swing a trade for an ace-caliber pitcher, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick spoke with Arizona GM Kevin Towers, president/CEO Derrick Hall and owner Ken Kendrick in an excellent, in-depth breakdown of the situation. While Towers was quick to say that no player is untouchable, he sounded loath to part with prized pitching prospect Archie Bradley, a consensus Top 10 MLB prospect. Asked about the possiblity of trading Bradley, he replied:

"I don't see that happening. Not that anybody is untouchable, but we're hoping he's our David Price, and we can control him [for several years]. He's gonna get every opportunity to crack our rotation this spring … He's not looking to make our rotation as the fifth guy — he's looking to make it as the ace."

Hall pointed to the Diamondbacks' success in 2011 when Ian Kennedy finished fourth in the Cy Young race, noting how impactful having a "No. 1 type starter" was to that year's team. Hall expects activity to pick up: "We're getting a lot of calls and making a lot of calls, and we can see the interest is there. We're probably a good fit for a lot of clubs."

In addition to enviable pitching depth, the Diamondbacks also have several intriguing shortstops in the form of Didi Gregorius, Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed. Martin Prado's presence means that Arizona could also be inclined to include Matt Davidson in potential trades, and the presence of both A.J. Pollock could mean that Adam Eaton is attainable as well, notes Crasnick.

Crasnick lists familiar trade targets Price and Jeff Samardzija for the Diamondbacks, though Price has had multiple ace-caliber seasons while Samardzija has more so flashed ace potential. Crasnick adds that Tyler Skaggs and Randall Delgado, each of whom is still younger than 24, may be more likely to be included in potential trades.

The Diamondbacks are also looking to add an impact bat to the outfield, though that addition may be more likely to come via free agency, reports Crasnick. Big-name items like Nelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson may not fit into Arizona's payroll, which could lead to pursuits of names like Corey Hart and Michael Morse, though there are many who don't consider either one to be capable of handling the outfield at this point.


Red Sox Notes: Granderson, Ellsbury, Salty, Lavarnway

The Red Sox "haven't ruled out" a pursuit of Curtis Granderson, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link). In light of last night's sudden and surprising agreement between Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees, the Red Sox have a need in the outfield, though that could simply be handled by Jackie Bradley Jr. The Sox could use Grandy in either right field or center field, with Shane Victorino occupying the other slot. Here are some more Boston-related news items…

  • Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tweets that Boston's talks with Ellsbury didn't go too far beyond the five-year, $80MM range. That jives with previous reports that the Red Sox didn't want to give Ellsbury $100MM or more and last night's report that their offer was "a ways off" from that of the Yankees.
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports that the Red Sox have been limiting their offers to free agent catchers to two years so as not to block the paths of top prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart. As such, their best offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia was a two-year deal that could top out at $18MM after incentives. Saltalamacchia instead agreed to a three-year deal with the Marlins yesterday.
  • The signing of A.J. Pierzynski could spell the end of Ryan Lavarnway's time with the Red Sox, Speier writes in a separate piece. Lavarnway has made a lot of strides defensively over the past few years but still isn't a defensive asset, and his offense has seen a precipitous drop since a 32-homer minor league season in 2011. Since that time, he's hit just 14 homers in 829 plate appearances. The presence of Swihart, Vazquez and Dan Butler creates a logjam that could leave Lavarnway on the outside looking in.

Mets’ Talks With Granderson Intensify

9:48am: The Mets are moving forward with Granderson, and their interest in Nelson Cruz has cooled, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

7:00am: Talks between the Mets and Curtis Granderson's agent intensified late Tuesday, a source tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.  Nothing is imminent, a second source told Rubin.  The two sides are discussing a three-year deal, though the Mets could concede a fourth guaranteed year to get the deal done, Rubin hears.

Granderson met Sunday with Mets GM Sandy Alderson, which the player later described to reporters as "conversation, a Q-and-A kind of thing" during which he enjoyed some salmon.  Granderson, 33 in March, hit .229/.317/.407 in 245 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2013, missing significant time due to being hit by two separate pitches.  Since Granderson turned down a qualifying offer from the Yankees, the Mets would have to forfeit their second-round pick to sign him.  Plus, four years would be a reach for a player his age unless agent Matt Brown compromises greatly on the average annual value.  MLBTR's Steve Adams suggested a $15MM AAV on a three-year deal in his September profile.