There has been a ton of negativity surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays signing of Curtis Granderson on Monday night and I’m not quite sure why. Sure, it was a bit of a kick in the groin that Andrew McCutchen was dealt for seemingly next to nothing earlier in the day, or that Lorenzo Cain is still sitting in free agency, but all this anger towards the signing is mind boggling.
Let’s first start by saying the if the Toronto Blue Jays don’t end up adding another outfielder, then I can understand being upset as Curtis Granderson would likely be an everyday player. However, it’s quite clear Granderson is a shell of his former self and can no longer handle an everyday role as a 37 year old. I will be absolutely shocked if he’s an everyday guy and quite frankly, it would be a mistake by the front office to let Granderson open as the everyday guy.
However, just because Granderson can’t handle an everyday role any longer doesn’t mean he cannot be a nice piece for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2017, Granderson hit 21 of his 26 home runs against right handed pitchers, and 21 of his 24 doubles against righties. He may have only batted .214 versus righties, but he still takes his walks as evidenced by his .337 OBP. Two things the Blue Jays struggled to do last year was get on base, and hit righties. Granderson in a platoon role could help solve this problem.
He also makes the perfect platoon mate for Steve Pearce in left field from an offensive standpoint. While Pearce didn’t come as advertised as a left handed pitching masher, I’d expect that with health in 2018, Pearce gets back closer to what he’s done for his entire career against left-handers, which is a nifty .262/.345/.492 slash line. Keeping Pearce and Granderson in a platoon should help keep both of them healthy, and also help improve the production from both players.
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We’ve established that Granderson does still have some value, and that I would be upset if Granderson opens up as an everyday guy because the Blue Jays haven’t added anyone else. Now, for only $5 million, the price tag likely won’t stop the Blue Jays from going out and signing another outfielder. There’s still $15 million available as per reports speculating on payroll, but with tons of cap coming off the books at season’s or trade deadline’s end, a big free agent signing like Lorenzo Cain is still a possibility.
There are still tons of free agent outfielders on the market and I can almost guarantee that the front office adds one. Lorenzo Cain is possible, Carlos Gonzalez is possible, or Jarrod Dyson is possible. There are guys to be had. They can also let the surplus of young outfielders in the system like Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey, and others battle for the final outfield spot, but that remains to be seen.
It’s quite likely that many who read this would think I’m being a Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins apologist. Far from it. I’m just thinking rationally, and with the big picture in mind. Atkins and Shapiro have preached patience all off-season long, so if you think they’re done, I’d highly advise you to think otherwise. They will add another outfielder. But for now, the addition of a useful piece in Curtis Granderson for only $5 million is a move that should not be causing so much uproar and hate from the fanbase, unless he really does open up in an everyday role. Then let anger ensue. For now, relax.