The Mets have agreed to sign free-agent OF Curtis Granderson to a four-year deal (Sherman) worth $60 million (Rosenthal).
Granderson, 32, played in just 61 games with the Yankees last year after breaking his hand twice on two hit-by-pitches. He hit .229 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in 245 plate appearances in 2013.
Granderson hit .232 with a .319 OBP and .811 OPS, 43 home runs and 106 RBI, in 684 plate appearances in 2012. He averaged 34 home runs per season between 2009-2012, and posted an .826 OPS during the same span, although he struck out 621 times over those four seasons.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I like Granderson, I don’t love him. I think he can hit 20-30 home runs in Citi Field, which will be a huge boost to this team’s lineup (especially for David Wright). Most importantly, I like that he knows New York City. My understanding is that he wanted to be here or back in the Bronx. I think he’d have considered an offer from the White Sox or Cubs, but they were not heavily involved. In early November I said Granderson would likely be offered a three- or four-year deal. I’m glad to see Sandy Alderson kept it reasonable, but also compromise as needed to get a deal done. This is encouraging for the rest of the off-season, which I expect to now be about trading for an infielder and signing a starting pitcher.
Maggie Wiggin, Contributor
Granderson isn’t a perfect player, but this was a move that had to be made. The team needs power, which he has in spades, and they need outfielders who can make plays. I fully expect the last year of his contract to be a frustrating one, but that’s the reality of baseball right now. In any case, he’s going to be a positive presence in the clubhouse for a young team and hopefully take some pressure off of Wright, both on field and off field. Nice work, Sandy.
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
I expect Granderson will be a great clubhouse presence, as well as continue to be a great ambassador for the game. Oh, and he’s capable of hitting at least 30 home runs a year and he plays a very good outfield, which is something the Mets desperately need. I don’t like his historically low batting average, so I’m not exactly doing a double fist pump right now, but overall, this is a quality signing that changes this team’s outlook for 2014 in a very positive way. Quite frankly, I’m just glad the Mets are in the news for something positive for a change, which is something sort of “grandish.”
Michael Baron, Contributor
I’m still not sold on how Granderson’s game will translate to Citi Field and the National League East. However, this is a deal the Mets had to make; it helps change the the narrative and brings a legit, big-league player to a position the Mets really needed to fill. This move suggests the Mets are staying true to their words from last winter when they promised to augment the big league roster. It’s a relief, but there’s still more work to be done.
The Mets will forfeit their second-round draft pick in 2014 due to Granderson receiving — and turning down — a qualifying offer from the Yankees.
The Reds may have been planning to trade 2B Brandon Phillips, but that no longer seems to be the case, according to the following reports…
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Dec. 6: The buzz in Cincinnati is that the front office and ownership are split: some like him, some are tired of him, some know he’s their best bet to free up money and help the farm system, others can’t think of the Reds without him. So, in cases like that, either it takes an overwhelming offer or the owner steps in and sets the direction. I have not heard any connection between the Mets and Phillips, though it stands to reason he would be of interest to Sandy Alderson in the event he moves Daniel Murphy for a more powerful bat…
Dec. 4: The Reds are now unlikely to trade Phillips (Rosenthal).
Nov. 7: Phillips is as good as gone, a league executive said (Passan).
Nov. 6: Phillips is available in the right trade, but the price is steep (Heyman); the Dodgers, Tigers, Royals and Orioles are interested in acquiring a second baseman (Heyman).
Nov. 5: The Yankees have inquired about Phillips (Heyman).
Oct. 19: The Reds intend to shop Phillips this winter (Nightengale)
12:00 am: The Royals have no offered free agent OF Carlos Beltran a three-year contract (Rosenthal).
12:00 am: The Red Sox are looking for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder (Lauber).
12:00 am: The Marlins are interested in re-signing free agent OF Chris Coghlan, even though they non-tendered him earlier this week (Frisaro).
The Mets continue to negotiate with free-agent OF Curtis Granderson, who is seeking four years and $60 million, while the Mets are offering three years and roughly $45 million, according to multiple reports…
The Brewers traded OF Norichika Aoki to the Royals for LHP Will Smith, who Milwaukee preferred to Ike Davis, despite the Mets checking in on Aoki (Rosenthal).
The Marlins have agreed to sign free agent Rafael Furcal (Rosenthal, Dec. 5) to be their starting second baseman.
The Mets may have met with Robinson Cano’s agents, but he seems to be leveraging the Mariners against the Yankees to get the best deal…
The Orioles are pursuing free-agent outfielders Nelson Cruz and Shin-Soo Choo (Morosi), who the Yankees may turn to if they lose out on Cano (Nightengale). The Tigers prefer Choo (Feinsand).
The Dodgers re-signed free agent RHP Brian Wilson to a one-year, $10 million deal (Brown).
Lastly, to get a break down on the current state of the overall hot stove market in MLB, check out this post from Matthew Cerrone.
The Marlins have agreed to sign free agent SS Rafael Furcal to a one-year contract (Rosenthal, Dec. 5) to be their starting second baseman.
The deal is pending a physical and believed to be worth $3.5 million plus incentives (Rodriguez, Dec. 5).
The Mets were very interested in Furcal when free agency started, but their interest faded shortly after that (Sherman, Nov. 27)
Michael Baron, Contributor
Furcal was never really a fit for the Mets, who need more than what Furcal might be able to provide. He would have been fine on a minor league deal or if tried out as a backup. However, it seems the Marlins have given him a guaranteed roster spot… so good for him.
Furcal, 36, played in 121 games with St. Louis in 2012, but did not play at all in 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. He is a career .281 hitter with a .346 OBP over 13 seasons.
Free-agent OF Shin-Soo Choo is reportedly looking for a $100 million deal, and the Mets (among other teams) do not seem interested at that price…
8:27 pm: If the Yankees lose out on free agent 2B Robinson Cano, then Choo will be back in play for them (Nightengale).
6:40 am: The Orioles are pursuing Choo and Nelson Cruz (Morosi).
Dec. 4: Choo is Detroit’s top free-agent target (Feinsand).
Nov. 8: The Yankees were considered the early favorites to sign Choo (Heyman).
Nov. 7: The Mets expressed an initial interest in Choo, but nothing since (Puma).
Nov. 7: Choo is looking to exceed Jayson Werth’s seven-year, $126 million contract (Crasnick).
Nov. 1: The Mets reached out to Scott Boras to express interest in Choo (Puma).
Sept. 7: Choo is the only elite free agent the Mets are expected to pursue this off season, a team insider said (Rubin).
Juan Lagares tweeted that he is on his way back to New York to have his knee looked at.
Lagares’ tweet was in Spanish, but translates to, “On my way to New York to get my knee checked out. Putting everything in God’s hands.” (h/t @SusiMJK on Twitter)
Lagares followed up with a tweet that reads, “Everything is good my people.”
Lagares has been playing in winter ball for Las Aguilas Cibaenas and is hitting .342 with a .379 OBP in 28 games, with five doubles, a home run, 16 RBI and seven walks.
Lagares hit .242 with a .281 OBP and .633 OPS in 121 games for the Mets in 2013.
5:20 pm: Free agent reliever John Axford has received interest from 14 teams, according to his agent (Nicholson-Smith).
2:40 PM: The Dodgers have re-signed free agent RHP Brian Wilson to a one-year, $10 million deal (Brown).
11:51 am: The Red Sox have agreed to sign free agent reliever Edward Mujia to a two-year, $9.5 million deal (Passan).
10;56 am: Free agent RHP Scott Feldman is looking for a three-year deal (Crasnick).
12:24 am: The Diamondbacks could show a willingness to deal RHP Tyler Skaggs (Piecoro).
The Royals acquired OF Norichika Aoki from the Brewers in exchange for LHP Will Smith, the teams announced Thursday.
Aoki, 31, hit .286 with a .356 OBP, 20 stolen bases, 20 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 37 RBI last year.
He will earn almost $2 million in 2014, after which he can become a free agent.
4:03 PM: The Mets inquired about Aoki, but Milwaukee wanted a controllable starting pitcher in return, instead of Ike Davis (Rosenthal).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
It seems the Mets and Brewers discussed Aoki, and the Brewers had interest in Davis (see below), but clearly no deal could be worked out. I still believe the Mets would rather find a way to put Davis with Daniel Murphy and a pitching prospect for a better bat than a significantly better bat than Aoki. I have no idea if that deal exists, but I guess that’s what the Winter Meetings are for…
To read more of this story, click here
According to reports, the Mets have interest in free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, though they have concerns about his $75 million asking price. The Mets, Orioles, and possibly the Yankees have all expressed interest in Cruz…
1:42 pm: The Orioles are pursuing Cruz (Morosi).
Dec. 3: The Yankees could be a player for Cruz, in the event they lose out on Carlos Beltran (Feinsand).
Dec. 2: MLB insiders predict Cruz will end up on either the Mets, White Sox, Astros or Mariners (Cerrone).
Nov. 28: Cruz is looking for a four-year, $75 million contract (Heyman).
Nov. 28: The Mets are definitely seeking a power-hitting corner outfielder, and are continuing to pursue Cruz, among others (Heyman).
Nov. 22: The Mets remain interested in Cruz (Rosenthal), even after the signing of free-agent OF Chris Young.
Nov. 13: Mets are “going hard” after Cruz (Ackert), but a follow up report indicates their interest is overstated (Rubin).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Last week, a friend in an MLB front-office told me to expect more old-school trades this winter (MetsBlog), i.e., less four-prospects-for-one-star and more big-leaguer-for-big-leaguer swaps, more needs for needs, role players for role players, etc…
He said teams are overvaluing all of their prospects, which will result in trades that seem lopsided or incomplete because they’ll be making very specific moves to fill or create specific holes — and those goals may not always be clear to fans and media.
For instance, yes, the Rockies may have been able to acquire better players for Dexter Fowler. However, in reality, their goal wasn’t just acquiring talent, they also wanted to free up as much salary as possible. And, in most cases (such as Ike Davis), Colorado would have only saved a few million dollars in the deal. They also wanted useful big-leaguers, not prospects. So, the result was trading Fowler and his $7 million for two major-league players making the league minimum. They got what they needed and made the deal…
Similarly, I’m seeing people ask why the Mets couldn’t top Kansas City’s offer for Norichika Aoki. Milwaukee may have specifically wanted a hard-throwing, young, big-league, left-handed reliever making little money, which is something the Mets don’t have to give. I suppose Alderson could have put a better, more substantial package together for Aoki, including Davis, but maybe Alderson didn’t want Aoki bad enough to give up that much talent… and maybe the Brewers wanted to save money, not add it?
In other words, even if your offer can be better (in terms of talent), in this league right now, you may lose the deal because it doesn’t do exactly what the other team is looking to accomplish, which makes speculating and armchair-GM’ing really, really difficult.
By the way, in hindsight, in early November (MetsBlog), it appears I should have said, “There is zero chance the Brewers trade Aoki to the Mets for Davis.” This is clearly what my source was trying to tell me in a DM on Twitter, and I now realize Braun was his way of saying a deal had no chance of happening. However, looking back at it, and looking back at other Mets-Brewers-Ike-Aoki talk during the last month, it occurs to me that he used Braun as a symbol, which I took literally since I had heard (but hadn’t written yet) that the Mets asked about Braun during the GM Meetings (Heyman). The Hot Stove is a crazy, often coded, fast-moving place…