Editor's note: Stay logged on this offseason as Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly files his thoughts on available MLB free agents and the possibilty they could become Giants
SAN FRANCISCO -- Our offseason “Pros and Cons” series continues with a look at one of the biggest outfield names on the market, former Tigers and Yankees All-Star Curtis Granderson.
Should the Giants target Granderson? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:
The Giants need a left fielder and prefer someone who can hit the ball over the fence. Granderson hit 40-plus home runs in 2011 and ‘12 and has finished as high as fourth in the AL MVP balloting.
Granderson is a lefty hitter who put up half his numbers in Yankee Stadium, with it’s very favorable short porch in right field. It would be an extreme transition from the Bronx to AT&T Park, where no lefty hitter other than Barry Bonds has been able to find the cove with any regularity. It’s worth mentioning that Granderson hit 37 homers on the road and 47 at home in 2011-12. Still, the Giants would be paying for power numbers that won’t necessarily translate. And they’d prefer right-handed power, anyway.
Granderson could be undervalued after a lost season in which a pitch fractured his forearm in spring training, then another broke his left hand just eight games after his return. Plus he’s not exactly a plodding DH type, and especially in the NL, it’s rare and valuable to find power hitters who aren’t base cloggers.
Granderson will turn 33 in March and really has very little value other than his ability to hit home runs. Over the last five seasons, he’s a .246 hitter with a .333 on-base percentage. He struck out 195 times in 2012. That’s brutal for an offense that must score runs by putting the ball in play and keeping the line moving. He’s also declining in terms of defensive value, although he’d be a lot better in left field than someone like Mike Morse.
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Granderson has been a part of winning environments and he’s by all accounts a professional and a good teammate.
Granderson would cost the Giants the 14th overall pick in the draft because the Yankees extended him a qualifying offer. Plus you’d have to pay him the Aaron Rowand premium to come play at a park that is death to lefty power hitters. The Giants have better uses for their money.
Granderson’s power would be welcome in the Giants lineup, but he wasn’t an ideal fit even before the Yankees tied draft-pick compensation to him. If he stops hitting home runs, he’s a No. 7 hitter even in a mediocre lineup. Pass.
A Chicago native, Granderson is reportedly interested in coming home to play for the Cubs or White Sox, and the Mets’ outfield is a blank slate that they need to fill. The Yankees haven’t ruled out bringing back Granderson, either. The fact he got a qualifying offer tells you the Yankees expected Granderson to turn it down (which he did Monday) in anticipation of receiving a multiyear deal in excess of $14 million per. We’ll predict four years, $70 million with the White Sox.