Dec 09

Mets Should Consider Trade For Brett Gardner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The New York Mets rarely trade with the Yankees, but recent developments could make a trade conducive for a Daniel Murphy-Brett Gardner trade.

Better still, it is a trade the Mets should make.

GARDNER: Would help Mets.

GARDNER: Would help Mets.

The possibility is ripe after the Mets signed Curtis Granderson and the Yankees landed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but general manager Sandy Alderson isn’t biting.

“Let’s not categorize players quite yet,’’ Alderson told reporters in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “I mean, I know it looks like, ‘Well, OK, you’ve got this guy and that guy … ‘ But let’s see how it plays out, because I think that’s a little bit unfair to sort of predetermine.’’

The addition of Granderson completes the Mets’ outfield, with Juan Lagares in center and Chris Young in right. The Mets are kicking the tires of moving Eric Young to second base, thereby opening the door for dealing Murphy.

And, with Robinson Cano now in Seattle, the Yankees could use a second baseman, and Murphy’s home run numbers would increase in that ballpark.

The trade has been debunked in several corners, which is all the more reason why it should happen. Teams never disclose whom they are talking trade with, but the Mets have been known to listen to offers for Murphy, who’ll make $5 million to likely price himself off the Mets.

Regardless of how their outfield is currently constructed, remember the Mets could still have holes considering Chris Young is signed for one year.

Gardner and Eric Young would add speed at the top of the order, something the Mets haven’t had in a long time.

Gardner and Granderson would greatly upgrade the Mets’ outfield defense. Pitching and defense were supposed to be the Mets’ foundation when they moved into Citi Field, and Gardner could be a mainstay even after Granderson’s four-year contract expires.

I like Murphy, but if Eric Young is the answer at second base as the Mets might think, this trade is a definite upgrade.

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Dec 07

Curtis Granderson Signing Could Open Door To Daniel Murphy Trade

The signing of Curtis Granderson could give the New York Mets increased trade flexibility.

The Mets’ outfield, a weakness at the start of last season, is now a defensive plus with natural centerfielders – from left to right – of Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young.

MURPHY: On the block?

MURPHY: On the block?

This alignment would relegate Eric Young to the bench, or possibly second base. Should the Mets opt to play young in the infield, it would make Daniel Murphy expendable.

“We’ll entertain anything,’’ general manager Sandy Alderson said in a conference call. “It doesn’t mean we’ll act on everything. The nice thing is that with hopefully a couple players signed, we can entertain a lot of different combinations, and at the same time not feel like we absolutely have to act on one of them.’’

Murphy, arguably the Mets’ most consistent offense presence the past two years, will make roughly $5 million this year through the arbitration process, and could be packaged in a trade for pitching.

If the Mets don’t deal Murphy, it is possible he could play first base if the Mets unload Ike Davis or Lucas Duda, or both.

Perhaps the Mets won’t trade Murphy now, but it is conceivable if Eric Young supplants him at second base, he could be dealt in late July.

Dec 05

Three Years Won’t Be Enough To Get Granderson

The New York Mets are serious about signing Curtis Granderson. But, will the three-year contract that has been |reported be enough?

At 32, Granderson would likely want a fourth year considering what is going on in the market. If Carlos Beltran, who is four years older than Granderson is reportedly talking with Kansas City for a three-year, $48-million contract, it stands to reason Granderson would want an additional year.

GRANDERSON: Talking with Mets.

GRANDERSON: Talking with Mets.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets must adjust to a “robust,’’ market, and that would include the ability to upgrade their initial offer.

The money sounds about right, but the Mets might have to jack up the annual salary if they are adamant about three years. Otherwise, they might have to go three years plus an option, or give in on the fourth year.

Either way, Granderson is the best available outfielder in the market that won’t cripple them financially. Texas’ Nelson Cruz and Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Cho have reportedly sought deals in excess of $90 million and five years.

The Mets, understandably because of the long-term deals with Johan Santana and Jason Bay that flamed out, not to mention Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, want to shy away from lengthy contracts. David Wright was the lone exception.

Granderson would be a definite upgrade to the outfield, and despite his propensity for striking out, has the production numbers to offset that problem. He could play left, with Juan Lagares in center and Chris Young in left.

Presumably, Eric Young would play off the bench, or as has been suggested, move to second base if Daniel Murphy is traded. It is also possible Murphy could return to first base depending upon what happens to Ike Davis or Lucas Duda.

A deal is not imminent and Granderson is sure to talk to other suitors. The Yankees said despite their signing of Jacoby Ellsbury they would entertain brining back Granderson.

There are positives to getting Granderson, and his strikeouts differ from Davis’ because he will give something in return.

Granderson knows what it takes to play in New York, so there wouldn’t be that adjustment process. He could even keep his apartment.

Signing Granderson would answer one of the Mets’ numerous questions. They still need to add two starters; build depth in their bullpen; resolve the first base question; and add a catcher to back-up Travis d’Arnaud.

So, even if the Mets sign him, their work won’t be close to being done.

Dec 04

Jacoby Ellsbury Signing Defines Mets Vs. Yankees; Time Running Out For Granderson

As if the New York Mets and their frustrated fan base needed another reminder of their status in town, they got a punch-in-the-gut this morning with the news Jacoby Ellsbury had agreed to a seven-year, $153-million contract with the Yankees.

Yes, the Yankees, the team that said they wanted to go below a $189 million payroll while Mets GM Sandy Alderson, despite saying he has the resources, isn’t likely to go over $90 million.

ELLSBURY: Would have been nice in Flushing.

ELLSBURY: Would have been nice in Flushing.

Alderson will say the Mets aren’t competing with the Yankees, and he’s right to a four-game, interleague degree, but he’s wrong everywhere else. There’s competition for the back pages, for free-agents, for attention from the on-the-fence New York fan, for TV ratings and time on the radio talk-shows.

Today, the callers will take a break from bashing the Nets and Knicks – and deservedly so – to hailing the Yankees, and yes, ripping the Mets for their inaction. Also, deservedly so.

It’s a great deal for the Yankees as they obtain a dynamic outfielder – which was Alderson’s prime objective this winter – that will more homers in Yankee Stadium hitting from the leadoff position, while at the same time, weakening their rival Red Sox.

This came after giving $85 million to catcher Brian McCann. And, they are hot after Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, which will entail a hefty posting fee to go along with a huge salary.

Then, there’s the matter of Robinson Cano.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ biggest splash this winter, if you don’t include Chris Young, is having dinner with Jay Z, Cano’s flamboyant agent.

That meeting garnered attention for one day, but these signings by the Yankees to go along with their courtship of Cano, have them in the headlines nearly every day this offseason.

The free-agent outfield market had four premium names: Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson. Ellsbury’s deal set the bar, meaning if history is an indicator, the prices for the others should increase.

This means if the Mets are serious about Granderson they had better act quickly because the meter is running. Who knows? It might already have clicked past Alderson’s price range.

The Mets weren’t going to overpay for Ellsbury or Choo, but they might have to for Granderson for nothing else, to save some face this winter.

But, Granderson would fit the Mets for several reasons:

* He would give them left-handed power. Yes, his numbers were elevated in Yankee Stadium, but of his 43 homers hit in 2012, 26 were at home and 17 on the road. Granderson hit 41 in 20111, with 21 at home and 20 on the road.

* He could play anywhere in the outfield, and has the speed to play center.

* All indications are he’s a good clubhouse presence, plus, he knows what it takes to play in New York.

While the Ellsbury signing screams the Yankees are back, it doesn’t mean the Mets have to limp away. There’s still time for them to do something, but it is running out.

Dec 03

Are The Mets And Curtis Granderson A Fit?

The New York Mets talked with outfielder Curtis Granderson. The meeting reportedly took place in San Diego. Although the Mets would not confirm a meeting, it was reported by several media outlets.

Granderson turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, so that gives you an idea of where he’s coming from. He wants a pay-day. The Mets already signed free agent Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract, so if the Mets landed Granderson it would probably send Eric Young to the bench, re-opening the hole he filled last season.

GRANDERSON: On Mets' radar/

GRANDERSON: On Mets’ radar/

Granderson, 33 in March, would provide left-handed power, but is ranked behind Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz in the free-agent market, so getting him wouldn’t be as costly. Granderson reportedly wants four years, but the Mets could approach him with three plus an option. I don’t believe a flat three would get him to Flushing.

Because of injuries – a broken forearm in spring training and later a broken pinkie finger – Granderson is coming off a terrible season in which he played in just 61 games and hit .229 with seven homers and 15 RBI.

The Yankees wanted to bring back Granderson – hence the qualifying offer – but their pursuit of Beltran sings a different tune.

While Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he didn’t want an injury reclamation project, Granderson’s injuries were freakish in nature – hit by a pitch – and he will likely look at the 84 combined homers in 2011 and 2012.

That’s a lot of production, but Anderson must consider the Yankee Stadium bandbox and realize Granderson won’t hit like that in Citi Field. Alderson would have to take that approach with any power hitter on the market. Ellsbury is the line-drive, speed outfielder who would be perfect, but the Mets won’t give him the six years or $100-million-plus package he’s seeking.

So, if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, there’s the salary Granderson would want; his recent injury history and age; and the questionable nature of his numbers.

If you’re the glass-half-full kind, there’s the potential power he could provide; that he fills a need and despite his negatives is a step up.

There are players I’d rather the Mets get over Granderson, but they won’t pay that kind of money. Assuming $51 million over three years ($17 million a season), Granderson would be a relatively economical upgrade in the outfield.

He would fall under the category of being the best the Mets could get.

LATER TODAY:  What non-tendered players the Mets could bring back.