One of the reasons why the No. 4 train, beginning its journey in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and concluding its route in another borough, the Bronx, piques the interest of most New Yorkers and tourist from around the globe is the fact that one of its stops features more history than most. The stop at 161st Street equals Yankee Stadium, the place where the New York Yankees call their habitat. And yesterday, December 6th, 2013, one of its members has decided to flee, seeking other opportunities.
The ex-member happens to be former Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson. He has agreed to a 4-year $60 million dollar contract to become a New York Metropolitan. From the No. 4 train line to the No. 7. From the "Boogey Down" Bronx to Queens. From pinstripes to orange and blue. To say that this addition to the Met's is just another signing is an understatement, considering the team's recent past that has already been cemented into its franchise history.
The 2006 Mets represented what could have been and what may never be. The team spearheaded by young stars in SS Jose Reyes, 3B David Wright and sluggers CF Carlos Beltran, and 1B Carlos Delgado have long been removed as the face of this franchise while one has remained. The inexistence of 3 out of the 4 players previously listed has resulted in the Mets failing to qualify for postseason play since October of 2006. It is now 2013, and the Mets faithful has experienced enough pain to warrant an arrest against the Wilpon family, the executives of the organization but that's another story for another day. What's important is the here, now, and going forward. It's no question that's what current Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson is focused on with this deal confirmed.
With the emergence of SP Matt Harvey establishing himself as one of the premier young pitchers in this league albeit his absence from the upcoming 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow, the rise of SP Zack Wheeler looking to follow in his footsteps, and solid rotation starters in Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, the Mets finally have the pitching to make a statement moving forward in a National League that will potentially be up for grabs. There has to be balance between the pitching staff and the group responsible for converting the 0's on the scoreboard, which is one of the complications the Mets have suffered from in recent years.
Enter Granderson. He has the capability to reverse that. For those unaware of the services that Granderson can provide, here is some data. Granderson is a 3-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger award recipient, the AL RBI leader in 2011, led the MLB in triples, back-to-back years 07-08 and a member of the 20-20-20 club, which constitutes for 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 homeruns. Now this is the Granderson at the age of 32, still in his prime. Two freak injuries featuring a right forearm fracture and a broken knuckle in his left pinkie reduced his production to 61 games through the duration of the 2013 MLB season with his former employers in the New York Yankees, where he managed to manufacture a .229 batting average with 7 homeruns and 15 RBI's. The previous year he recorded a .232 batting average, launching 43 homeruns and 106 RBI's. Granderson does strike out, but 43 homeruns is 40+ more homeruns that the Mets have not managed to duplicate since Beltran in 06, Todd Hundley in 96 and Mike Piazza in 99. Forty-three homeruns is what Granderson can belt and even though it is not a lock that he will launch that particular number, it is a possibility.
The Mets need his presence to protect the likes of the captain in Wright. The Mets need his bat. The Mets needed this splash to convince the fan-base that they indeed have a pulse and plan to move this franchise back to respectability. Granderson is just a piece added to a projected outfield that presents Granderson in left, promising Juan Lagares in Center and newly signed Chris Young in rightfield. With Granderson inked, the Mets need to fill the void that Harvey has left whether it stems from the minor leagues, most notably P Noah Syndergaard awaiting stage left or the free agent market. Another outfielder is needed and what's to become of the first base position must be dealt with regarding Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Granderson does not amount to the creation and fullness of an entire cake, but in this case the correct batter has been bought. Let's see what else the Mets add to this mix currently in progress.
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