A candidate for the New York Mets’ managerial vacancy is coming out of left field … literally and figuratively.
Robert Murray of FanSided reported Friday that former All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson is among those under consideration for Mets manager.
Granderson, who is still only 40 years old, is a surprising addition to the mix given that he has no managerial experience. But he was very well-liked as a player and was even voted by his peers as one of the game’s friendliest players in 2010. Granderson also became involved in the MLB Players Association as early as 2006 and reportedly had a significant role in negotiations towards the 2011 labor agreement.
That said, the Mets’ last two managers, Luis Rojas and Mickey Callaway, were also fairly inexperienced and neither worked out particularly well. It would make sense for the team to consider a seasoned veteran manager, which is why this candidate is said to be high atop their list.
Photo: Apr 30, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Curtis Granderson (21) looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
This trade deadline could just see Curtis Granderson back in pinstripes.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported on Sunday that the New York Yankees are looking for another outfield slugger in the wake of recent injuries to Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Clint Frazier. Heyman also goes on to mention Granderson specifically as a potential fit.
The 37-year-old Granderson, who is currently with the Toronto Blue Jays, played with the Yankees from 2010 to 2013. There he had some of his peak seasons, making two All-Star teams and leading the AL in RBIs in 2011.
Granderson’s numbers have really tailed off in recent years though — he’s batting just .234 with 86 strikeouts in 85 games this year. But he might be able to provide the Yankees with some short-term production as a low-risk acquisition who will be a free agent after the season. Furthermore, this could be Granderson’s chance to finally bury the hatchet with the local fans.
The Blue Jays are a little weak in the outfield, which explains the move. Beyond center fielder Kevin Pillar, their other outfielders include Steve Pearce, Dalton Pompey and Teoscar Hernandez. Still, the Blue Jays giving that much money to Granderson does not make much sense.
The soon-to-be 37-year-old batted just .212 last season, though his OPS was .775 thanks to his 26 home runs and 64 walks. The Jays likely are hoping to get the Granderson version who had an .815 OPS with the Mets rather than the one who batted a pathetic .161 with the Dodgers, leading to him being left off the World Series roster.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected from Game 4 of the NLCS Wednesday night after a third strike call was overturned and allowed Curtis Granderson to see another pitch. And had the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder belted a home run after umpires allowed his at-bat to continue, the scene would have been a lot uglier.
Fortunately for the Cubs, Granderson struck out anyway after the umpiring crew determined that he foul tipped a 2-2 pitch rather than missing it. Maddon says he would have come sprinting out of the clubhouse if the result was different.
Maddon on the phantom Granderson foul rip: "If he hits the next pitch out I might have come running out of the clubhouse in my jock strap."
Curtis Granderson is one player many fans have pointed to as part of the reason for the team’s skid. He’s batting just 8-for-72 (.111) since being acquired by the Dodgers last month in a post-waiver trade with the New York Mets. Luckily half of his hits have been homers, but he’s still adversely affected the team and has a -0.4 WAR since joining the LA squad.
The Dodgers have been without Corey Seager for much of their recent losing stretch, which obviously hurts the club. And players like Cody Bellinger and Logan Forsythe have seen slight drops in batting average over the past 15 games. In addition to Granderson, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson haven’t hit much during the losing streak, so really it’s been a collective lack of offense that’s contributed to the losing.
The Dodgers need to break out of their funk before it’s too late.
Granderson is batting just .223, though his on-base percentage (.325) and slugging percentage (.450) are respectable. He is in the final year of his current deal and set to become a free agent, which would make him an outfielder rental.
Granderson had been splitting time in the Mets’ outfield. But with Lucas Duda headed to Tampa Bay, Jay Bruce could move to first, giving the Mets more of an open spot for Granderson. Still, since the Mets are so far behind in the NL playoff race, it would make sense to trade him if they can get anything in return.
Jacob deGrom’s bid for a no-hitter came to unfortunate end after Curtis Granderson lost a fly ball in the sky.
With two outs during the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the Phillies, Andrew Knapp hit a ball to center field that for all the world looked like it would be a routine play. That, however, was not the case. Granderson had trouble finding the ball, which landed behind him and was picked up by Yoenis Cespedes. Knapp ended up on third base with a triple. Here’s video of the play.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the catch probably on the fly ball was 99%.
Curtis Granderson had a 99% catch probability on the fly ball he did not catch which broke up Jacob deGrom's no-hitter.
You have to feel for Granderson in that situation, whether there is a no-hitter on the line or not. Later in the game, he received sarcastic cheers from the crowd at Citi Field after successfully making a catch.
Sarcastic applause for Curtis Granderson when he catches Tommy Joseph's leadoff fly ball in the seventh.
Having fallen well out of the playoff picture, the New York Mets appear willing to turn over much of their roster for young talent.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mets are now willing to hear offers for a variety of veterans in their clubhouse. Olney goes as far to call New York “open for business”.
Having lost seven of their last eight, the Mets may have recently changed their mind about buying or selling midseason. Olney now reports that Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, and others are all available for the right price.
Currently 31-41 on the season, the Mets sit in fourth place in the NL East. They trail the division-leading Nationals by 12 games and are a whopping 14.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second wild card spot in the National League.
After being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a four-game series this week, the Mets travel to San Francisco for a three-game set with the struggling Giants.
Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.
Trailing the Minnesota Twins 2-1 in the bottom of the 11th inning, outfielder Curtis Granderson led off with a solo homerun that tied things up. And although the Mets would fail to push across another run despite two runners on base, Granderson would get a second opportunity to play hero in the bottom of the 12th.
He would not disappoint.
On 3-2 pitch from Ryan O’Rourke, Granderson sent his second homerun in as many innings down the right-field line and over the wall for an improbable walkoff.
Granderson’s second homerun didn’t just give the Mets a much-needed win, but it set several records in the process.
The 12th inning walkoff blast represented the Mets’ 201st homerun of the season, breaking a team record that had been previously set in 2006. It was also the first time in franchise history that a player hit two extra inning homeruns in the same game (and only the eight time in MLB history).
Curtis Granderson: first player in Mets history with two extra-inning HR in same game. His first tied the score; the second won it in 12th.