The Grandy Man is a solid player on the field and in the clubhouse. His teammates enjoy playing with him. Spending four years with the New York Yankees has given him experience in handling the media of a big market.
The three-time All-Star sounds like a good fit for the Amazins. Why should the Mets be avoiding Granderson this winter?
His power won't translate to Citi Field
Injuries limited Granderson to 61 games played and only seven home runs in 2013. He enjoyed two straight 40-homer seasons in '11 and '12, playing half his games at Yankee Stadium.
Citi Field and Yankee Stadium are two different experiences for hitters. Flyballs that used to fly out of the Bronx will become outs in Flushing. Granderson began his career with the Detroit Tigers, playing in spacious Comerica Park for six years. The left-handed hitter enjoyed three straight 20-homer seasons before being traded to the Yankees.
Playing in a big ballpark as a young player is much different as a veteran. A likely decrease in home run totals leads fans to believe he'd hit more doubles and triples. He's led the league in triples twice, but has hit more than eight in a season once since 2009. Granderson also hasn't hit more than 30 doubles in a season since 2007.
His batting average is plummeting
Granderson's increased home run numbers have been wonderful to see. Hitting 40 home runs in two consecutive seasons is not an easy feat to accomplish. His increased power has also led to a considerable drop in batting average.
In Detroit, Granderson hit .272/.344/.484 over six seasons. He's put together a .245/.335/.495 line during his time with New York. His home-run rate increased, but his doubles and triples rate dramatically decreased. Granderson hit .280 for Detroit in 2008. Since then, he's posted a batting average higher than .250 once (.262 average in 2011).
Strikeouts continue to rise
Power hitters tend to strike out more than the average position player. Teams and managers deal with this because they hit more home runs and collect more RBIs than others.
Granderson worked hard to reduce his strikeout rate to fewer than 20% of his at-bats in Detroit. After striking out 25.6% of the time during the 2006 season, he reduced it down to 19.9% in 2009.
His K-rate has done nothing but climb up to alarming rates since joining the Yankees. His 2012 season was the worst, striking out 28.5% of the time (195 strikeouts). The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium has changed Granderson's approach at the plate. It will be tough for him to adjust back to a bigger ballpark like Citi Field.
He's a sub-par defender
The Mets will sacrifice offense to have Juan Lagares and his superb defense out in center field. That would shift Granderson to a corner outfield spot. He's made his fair share of fantastic plays, but his glove is not the reason why he's a starter in the major leagues.
Excluding 2013 due to lack of playing time, he's posted a positive UZR rating once since 2008 (7.3 UZR in 2010). His last full season of defense in 2012 produced an appalling -18.1 UZR.
Granderson received a qualifying offer from the Yankees. The Mets would give up their second overall pick in next June's draft to sign the outfielder. The Amazins would need to justify what they're receiving in return for what they're surrendering.
He won't be hitting the same amount of home runs he did at Yankee Stadium. His batting average has been dropping, while his strikeouts have been climbing. He won't make up for his decrease in home runs and batting average with adequate defense.
If Granderson was entering his age-28 season, then I would be willing to pursue him for a multi-year contract.
That's not the case.
He'll be entering his age-33 season in 2014, likely past the prime of his career. I don't want to see the Mets pay approximately $15 million a season for three or four years of a player in a decline. We just saw how that worked out with Jason Bay.
Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue, Mets Merized Online, Mets Minors, and Rising Apple. To keep up with Matt, you can follow him on Twitter.
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