The Marlins have announced a minor-league deal with outfielder Curtis Granderson. It includes an invitation to participate in MLB Spring Training. He’ll earn $1.75MM in the majors with $250K in possible incentives, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter).
Granderson turns 38 in March but can still get the job done at the plate. He ended the 2018 campaign with 403 plate appearances of .242/.351/.431 hitting, good for a 116 wRC+. That’s right at his career mark for overall productivity (117 wRC+), though the most recent iteration of Granderson relied a bit more on on-base percentage than the power that has traditionally driven his value.
There are certainly some major caveats here from an on-field perspective. Granderson was not trusted to face lefties last year, reflecting his longstanding struggles against same-handed pitching. And metrics have increasingly soured on his glovework in the outfield.
Still, it seems like a nice addition for the Marlins, who likely gave Granderson assurances that he’d have an inside track to a roster spot and semi-regular playing time. The team is likely headed for another rough season in the standings, but needs to maintain some fan interest and provide veteran leadership. Granderson, a widely respected clubhouse presence, is more a contemporary of Marlins CEO Derek Jeter (his former Yankees teammate) than of the many young players on the Miami roster. He’ll join recent signee Neil Walker in providing some affordable gravitas before potentially transforming into a mid-season trade chip.