When Curtis Granderson was a free agent after the 2013 season, it was generally assumed he would only command a three-year deal. Sandy Alderson reportedly thought the same thing, but Granderson was clear he would not sign with the Mets without a fourth year. Alderson relented, and now that extra year is looking like a major problem.
We are already seeing a preview of what could happen next season (assuming Yoenis Cespedes is still on the team). There is just no room in the Mets outfield. Add in Brandon Nimmo, who looked pretty good in his cameo this year and could be ready by 2017, likely with enough minor league experience in center field to man the position for the Mets. With Michael Conforto playing right, there is no place for Granderson.
That would be fine if the Mets gave Granderson that three-year deal. They could shake his hand and thank him for his contributions. But they had to give him the fourth year and now owe him $15 million for next season. That’s a lot of scratch.
With that salary and the fact that he will be 36 years old by the start of next season and is already showing signs of slowing down, Curtis Granderson is virtually untradeable. Barring something unforeseen, the Mets will be on the hook for that money and will have to find playing time for him. They are not going to let all that cash languish on the bench.
Curtis Granderson is by all accounts a great guy and one of the leaders on the team. But the Mets would be better off if his contract were up after this season. It will be a headache they do not need.