While veteran outfielder, and spectacular clubhouse character, Curtis Granderson intends to play in 2019, the Blue Jays shouldn’t be looking to re-sign him. Here’s why:
Recently, the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted that veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson, who spent the first half of the 2018 season in Toronto with the Blue Jays, intends to continue his playing career and suit up in the major leagues during the 2019 campaign.
Granderson, who will turn 38 in March, has played in parts of 15 major league seasons and has consistently been known as one of baseball’s kindest personalities, routinely being honoured for his work on and off the field.
Frankly, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t continue playing. In 2018, he posted an OPS of .782 in 343 at-bats, adding 13 home runs and 22 doubles. Though his defence was shaky at times, he could (and should) be one of the most attractive outfielders to teams looking for a fourth or fifth piece to bolster their major league roster.
Despite this, the Blue Jays should not attempt to re-sign Curtis Granderson.
It’s worth noting off the bat that this opinion doesn’t come out of malice or out of crankiness, in fact, quite the opposite. Granderson is one of the classiest baseball players this team has seen in a long time, and the team, as it is currently constructed, would benefit greatly from having him on the roster.
He’s an experienced player with several outstanding years of baseball under his belt and appeared, at least in the dugout during games, eager to help out the Blue Jays youngsters. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I penned a letter to Granderson in October expressing this very sentiment.
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Every team in baseball should welcome him into their clubhouse, and I am not for one second suggesting that the Blue Jays should refrain from pursuing him because of something he has done. It would just be the right thing to do.
If this is indeed Granderson’s last year in the bigs, he should be able to go out with a title, something that the 2019 Blue Jays will, unfortunately, be simply unable to provide him.
While it may seem crazy, Granderson, who currently sits in the top ten among active players in games played, triples, extra-base hits and runs scored, has never won a World Series title. Weirdly enough, he has only appeared in 10 World Series games.
Deeper than that, he should be able to spend his final season immersed in a competitive environment. The 2019 Blue Jays will be an interesting team to watch, but certainly will not fulfill the needs of a veteran signing what could be his last contract. On the other hand, it’s possible that all Granderson wants is to serve as a mentor before gradually transitioning into coaching. In that case, Toronto would be a perfect destination for him.
But, it’s more likely that he’ll prefer the first option, probably opting to pursue a championship before calling it a career. While I’m the first to profess my love for Curtis Granderson, it just doesn’t seem all that fair to him to spend his final big-league season on what figures to be a rather disappointing team, record-wise.
At this point, no team has expressed interest in him, as recent reports haven’t indicated that his market is particularly hot as of right now. Still, it’s fully possible he latches on somewhere before the start of the season.