GM Brian Cashman has a lot of work to do.
The list of issues and foreseeable problems facing the Yankees are plentiful.
But one particular player current Yankee, Curtis Granderson is about to hit free agency and I hope Cashman doesn’t let him stay there long.
(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)Curtis Granderson - NYY Batting Stats
What surprised me is that most Yankees fans do not share the same sentiments about re-signing Grandy.
Granderson, a center fielder, arrived in the Bronx via trade with the Detroit Tigers back in 2010. The Yankees sent their top prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit in return.
Overall the trade worked out slightly better for the Yankees only because Jackson strikes out even more than Granderson, who lead the majors in whiffs (174) back in 2004.
Fast-forward and the Grandyman will hit free agency for the first time in his career after the World Series.
Granderson had an unfortunate 2013 season, as he missed most of it due to breaking his hand on two separate occasions.
By the time he was back for good at the start of August, Brett Gardner was cemented in center field, so Grandy took over in left.
Then the Yankees traded for OF Alfonso Soriano, which gave them a legit outfield along with Gardner and Grandy.
Alas, due to injuries and timing, the Yankees never got to really experience this outfielding trio for a significant length of time.
Gardner and Soriano will be back in 2014, but maybe not the Grandyman.
Defensively this duo is all right, but offensively is why the Yankees missed the playoffs and these two veterans were big contributors to that problem.
Even with Grandy’s high strikeout numbers, a power bat of his caliber would be a difference maker for any offensively anemic team.
Let me put it this way, in 2013 the Yankees outfield combined for a total of 53 homers and 202 RBIs.
Compare that to the four years earlier and you can see the gap.
(all stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)
The above totals prove how essential Grandy’s 40+ homers are, as he was responsible for more than half of the outfield’s total production in 2011 and 2012.
What I am afraid is going to happen is that Yankees hand Grandy the one-year, $13.8 million qualifying offer to safeguard receiving a first-round pick if he goes elsewhere.
My hope is that Cashman suggests offering Grandy $45 million, three-year type of deal. In essence this is actually a bargain for Grandy, as his stock plummeted after missing most of 2013.
Also keep-in-mind that the Yankees might be sans Alex Rodriguez’s power bat in 2014, which is another reason to support keeping Grandy in the Bronx.
Looking at the big picture, Gardner and Soriano are both are injury prone, so if one goes down Wells and Ichiro will have to play everyday. And that did not pan out in 2013, so why would it a year later?
The bottom line is if the Yankees goal is to make the postseason in 2014, they have to make sure they have the best option and that would mean keeping Grandy in pinstripes.
Someone better tell Hal to get out his checkbook, sign a few blanks, and hand them over to Cashman this off-season because it is time to fix this mess.