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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-man: Curtis Granderson

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MLB: World Series-Los Angeles Dodgers workout Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Granderson was signed as a free agent signing about a month ago, getting $5 million for the 2018 season. He turns 37 at the end of March. He’s a left-handed bat, who played all three outfield spots last year. He’ll play mostly left field for the Blue Jays, likely platooning with Steve Pearce, but he would be a better choice to spell Kevin Pillar, in center, than Ezequiel Carrera would be.

He’s become a low average, power hitter, over the past few years. He’s hit 102 homers over the last 4 seasons. And he gets on base, 315 walks in the past four years.

Last year he hit well with the Mets, .228/.334/.481 with 19 homers in 111 games. Then, traded to the Dodgers, he stopped hitting, .161/.288/.366 with 7 homers in 36 games. On the whole, he hit much better vs. RHP (.214/.337/.470) than LHP (.202/.274/.394). He shouldn’t see many at bats against lefties this year.

He still runs well, he had 6 steals, and FanGraphs had him at 2.9 runs better than the average baserunner.

In total, he had a 2.1 fWAR last year. I think we’d be thrilled if he could do the same this year. But then, he will be in a much better hitter’s part than the two he played in last year.

Defensively, he should be better than the guy he’s made redundant, Carrera.

We ran a poll the day after his signing, and we liked it:

I’m ok with the deal, he’s a nice upgrade from Ezequiel. He buys us some time to evaluate our young outfielders in Buffalo. If one of Anthony Alford, Teoscar Hernandez, Dwight Smith or Dalton Pompey show particularly well, Granderson can be traded. If Granderson plays like a 37-year-old, then he can be released without it costing us too much money. And, if we fall out of the race, he can be traded (not that the Mets received a lot for him from the Dodgers last year).

But, personally, I’d rather see the team take a chance on one of their half dozen outfield prospects. I like watching young guys. Bill James had a line about how young players can surprise you, while older players can only surprise you by suddenly getting old. Granderson will likely be decent, but will he be much better than Alford or Hernandez would be? Maybe a little, but likely not much. And I think Alford would be exciting to watch.

Of course, there is still time for a trade to happen, we need a pitcher (or two) and we have a surplus of outfielders. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a move made before the season starts (but Granderson won’t be the one traded).

ZiPS predicts him to get 455 PA, for us. I think I’d take the under. They see him hitting .231/.328/.417 with 16 home runs, good for a 1.0 WAR. I’d be happy with that.

Poll

Will Curtis Granderson be a Blue Jay on September 1st?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Yes
    (428 votes)
  • 42%
    No
    (320 votes)
748 votes total Vote Now

And let’s have a second one:

Poll

If ZiPS 1.0 WAR is the over/under, I would take the

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Over
    (384 votes)
  • 30%
    Under
    (166 votes)
550 votes total Vote Now