New York Yankees: Curtis Granderson

Stats to know: The Subway Series

May, 12, 2014
Both the New York Mets and New York Yankees enter this year’s Subway Series a little cold, though the Mets can say they have a sliver of momentum after rallying from three runs down in the ninth inning to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Yankees couldn’t complete a comeback against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Let’s take a look at some of the statistical storylines in this matchup.

The rivalry
The Mets won all four of their meetings with the Yankees last season and currently ride that winning streak, the longest against their crosstown rival. In fact, their pitchers were walk-free in each of the last three games in that series.

The Mets are 40-54 all time in regular-season games against the Yankees, including 17-30 all time at Yankee Stadium, but have won their past two games there.

Who’s hot?
The hottest players on each team are not names you’d expect -- Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and Yankees utility man Yangervis Solarte.

Murphy is coming off a series against the Phillies in which he went 5-for-12 with five walks. He’s hitting .343 with a .918 OPS over his past 24 games, missing on only nine percent of his swings.

Solarte is 9-for-20 with seven RBIs in his past six games, with at least one hit in each one. That includes six hits in nine at-bats against left-handed pitching (started the season 10-for-44).

Who’s not?
Both team’s starting catchers are slumping.

The Yankees' Brian McCann has a hit in each of his past two games, but he is 6-for-43 in his past 11. The effects of the shift continue to take their toll on McCann, who is 2-for-17 when hitting a ground ball in that span.

The Mets' Travis d’Arnaud has hovered at or below .200 all season. He’s currently in a 5-for-30 slump that has dipped his batting average to .202.

One of d’Arnaud’s biggest issues is that once he gets to two strikes, he’s an almost automatic out. He’s 3-for-41 in two-strike counts this season.

Captains Clutch
You can read all about Derek Jeter’s career history of tormenting the Mets in our latest “Jeet Sheet,” but it’s worth noting that David Wright has a pretty good history against the Yankees.

Wright has a .316/.381/.546 slashline (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) in 46 games against the Yankees. Wright’s .927 OPS against the Yankees is his third-best against any team he’s faced at least 10 times (trailing the 1.021 against the Dodgers and 1.010 against the Rockies).

Tanaka meets the Mets
Masahiro Tanaka will face the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if the Mets’ patient approach at the plate works against Tanaka, who has gotten hitters to miss on 52 percent of swings against his split-fingered fastball this season.

Granderson returns
Curtis Granderson returns to Yankee Stadium as a Met, and though he’s struggled this season, he’s hitting .308 with 12 hits in his past 11 games.

Granderson will try to find his power stroke in the Bronx. He had 47 home runs combined at Yankee Stadium in 2011 and 2012. He’s hit only three in 48 home games since then.

Flick of the RISP
The Mets have endured some significant struggles with runners in scoring position of late. However, they are hitting .247 in those situations this season, which is actually two points better than the Yankees, who have boosted their season numbers by going 12-for-30 in their past four games.

Grandy: 'True NYers are Mets fans.' Agree?

December, 10, 2013
Curtis GrandersonAP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackCurtis Granderson is already working to endear himself to Mets fans.
Yankee-turned-Met Curtis Granderson, in his introductory news conference Tuesday, said "true New Yorkers are Mets fans."

Wait, what?


Do you agree with Curtis Granderson that true New Yorkers are Mets fans?


Discuss (Total votes: 13,683)

To be fair, he was paraphrasing the words of others, but that sound bite has already had a ripple effect in the Big Apple.

Here's Grandy's full quote:

"A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans. So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there."

Do you agree with the people Grandy has met? Or do you doubt their sentiments (or his)?

Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments section!

Tanaka to take center stage?

December, 10, 2013

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If the Yankees are going to make one more big buzz move, it will likely be for Masahiro Tanaka. That is, if Tanaka is posted.

There are MLB officials who think Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, will post him even if they are dissatisfied with the $20 million maximum posting fee, while there are others who think they won't and will instead keep him for one or two more years.

Well, everything could become a little clearer as Rakuten's president Yozo Tachibana is going to arrive here at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel, according to Yahoo Sports.

If Tanaka is posted, the Yankees will be big players for him and, with the $189 million goal looking less and less likely, they may just blow everyone else away.

NEEDS: Yankees GM Brian Cashman is scheduled to meet with the media at some point this afternoon. Since Cashman didn't arrive until mid-afternoon on Monday, he didn't talk. He and his team were holed up in their suite, looking into trades for Brett Gardner, among others.

Still, it is hard to see how the Yankees don't dip back into free agency with holes to fill at second, third and in the pitching staff. Plus, you never know, they might decide they need a seventh outfielder.

THE BINDER: Each manager speaks at the winter meetings. At 4:30 p.m., Joe Girardi will step up to the mic. It will be the first time he has talked since Robinson Cano left.

GRANDY MAN: Curtis Granderson will be introduced as a Met at 12:30 p.m. here.

WHAT DO YOU THINK: The Yankees have been in on Omar Infante, but Brian Roberts hasn't been associated with them.

Roberts, 36, meets the age requirement, but he is not nearly as durable as Cano. His 77 games played in 2013 were the most for him since 2009.

SIMON SAYS: Our colleage Mark Simon chimes in with this nugget:

Frank Lary earned the nickname “Yankee-killer”for his success against the team in the 1950s and 1960s. Lary was 28-13 with a 3.32 ERA in his career against a Yankees dynasty facing the likes of Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and other Yankees legends.

In addition to being a great pitcher, Roy Halladay, who retired on Monday, was this generation’s Frank Lary, the premier Yankees killer of the past 20 seasons. He went 18-7 with a 2.98 ERA against the Yankees from 1999 to 2010. That included a stretch from 2003 to 2009 in which he won 13 of 15 decisions, including a one-hit shutout, a two-hit shutout and a three-hit shutout.

With Halladay retired, who now holds the title? We’ve got a few names in mind. The most natural of those is Felix Hernandez, but the Yankees have gotten him a few times. He’s 8-5 with a 2.89 ERA against them, with a pair of two-hit shutouts in Yankee Stadium.

A.J. Burnett (6-3 with a 2.43 ERA) would be another possibility, but he could retire (or end up in the National League with the Pirates again). A good sleeper choice is Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays, who is 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in seven starts over the past three seasons.

And then there’s Oliver Perez, who doesn’t start any more, but has a dominant history against the Yankees. He’s 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 48 2/3 innings pitched against them, with most of that damage coming as a member of the Mets.

What's next? Yanks have more moves

December, 7, 2013

So with the winter meetings beginning Monday, let's go have some fun with Saturday notes. The New York Yankees have lost Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, while signing Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson. So what is next?

1. Best second baseman: I was told all along that Omar Infante would not sign with the Yankees unless he knew he could play every day. Infante doesn't care if it's second or third, but he wants to be on the field. Though he could be a super utility player, he doesn't want to worry about looking at the lineup card every day.

So with Cano gone and Alex Rodriguez in limbo, the opportunity for Infante to end up the Bronx seems plentiful, if the money is right.

Infante makes a lot of sense because he can fill two holes at once. If A-Rod's suspension is upheld, Infante could play third, while Johnson mans second. If A-Rod gets off and returns -- still a big if -- Infante could be at second. Or the Yankees could sign another third baseman, such as Eric Chavez, who can't really play every day, and the Yankees could rotate Infante, Johnson and Chavez in the two positions.

Infante's Inspector Gadget qualities make him a perfect fit. Plus, he hit .318 last year and is a former All-Star. I could see him being next on the Yankees' board.

2. Pinstripe dreams: We reported this morning that Beltran took less money to sign with the Yankees. The talks with the Yankees, according to a source, intensified Friday when Brian Cashman called Beltran's agent, Dan Lozano, at 7 p.m.

The Yankees will be trading some of their outfielders. I think it's possible Brett Gardner is dealt, but I think it is more likely he is in left and Alfonso Soriano is the DH. They also have Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells. A couple of those guys won't be on the Yankees' roster.

3. Happy wife, happy life: When you try to report on free agency, it is always good to try to find out where the players' wife or family wants to be. It isn't always the end-all, be-all, but it can be helpful. Judging by Mrs. Beltran's Twitter account, she is happy to be back in New York.

4. What about Tanaka? The Yankees are pessimistic on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka being posted, because, a source told ESPN New York, the $20 million maximum fee for his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, might not be worth it for them. Instead, they can just keep him in Japan for two more years, at which time he would be eligible to come to the States without a posting fee.

If he is posted, the Yankees -- with savings from Cano's money -- could be well-positioned to sign Tanaka.

5. OK, but who is going to pitch? Well, we have a strong idea of how four-fifths of the rotation is going to play out. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda are three starters. The fifth starter spot is expected to be a competition between Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno. So one of those guys will be in the rotation.

6. So who are they going to sign? The Yankees aren't crazy about the free-agent pitching market and its cost. Phil Hughes got three years and $24 million!

But, if they are convinced Tanaka won't be available, they have some choices to make. Among the available free-agent starters, the Yankees could go more high-end, such as Matt Garza, or more of a four- or five-type, such as a Paul Maholm. My guess would be Maholm, but the way the Yankees are throwing around money, nothing would be shocking. I just know they don't really like the guys at the top of this free-agent class a lot.

7. Can Soriano play second? This is a popular question on Twitter. No, he can barely play left. There is no chance he is moving back to second unless this guy is involved.

8. Did Cano have a probblem with the binder? The Post's George King mentions this in the middle of his story on Cano fleeing to Seattle.

According to three people who know Cano, he didn’t enjoy playing for manager Joe Girardi and that may have factored into the decision, though the Mariners giving him $60 million more than the Yankees offered ($175 million) likely had more to do with him leaving.

“Robbie didn’t like batting second, he wanted to bat in the middle of the order," one person said. “The Yankees wanted him second because that was best for the team. He wanted to hit in the middle of the order to drive in runs [to increase his value]."

Through the middle of June, Cano shuttled between second and third in a lineup that didn’t have Derek Jeter to hit second or Rodriguez in the cleanup spot.

For the season, Cano batted third in 110 games, hitting .319 with 16 homers, 73 RBIs and an OPS of .886. As the No. 2 hitter in 42 games, he hit .308 with 10 homers, 30 RBIs and a .955 OPS.

“He told me he didn’t want to play for [Girardi]," a friend of Cano’s said.

Very interesting stuff, but, as King points out, it was the money that drove Cano to Seattle.

9. Laying down with law: What does ESPN Insider Keith Law think of Beltran's future?

He's a possible Hall of Famer and still a potent hitter from the left side, but the Yankees just signed him for his age 37 through 39 seasons even though he's showing signs of decline and is probably best suited to DH, if not right away then certainly before this contract is over. They've boosted their offense and added a marquee player, but they haven't filled a critical need the way they did with McCann -- second base, the rotation, maybe third base if you-know-who is suspended for all or most of 2014.

Beltran does make the Yankees better, though, just not as much as his contract seems to indicate. He remains an offensive force against right-handers, hitting .315/.362/.509 against them in 2013, and his propensity for making hard contact bodes well for his future at the plate both in hitting for average and for power.

Mets visit Curtis Granderson

December, 2, 2013
Sandy Alderson visited free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson on Sunday, a source confirmed.

Alderson already has met with Jhonny Peralta and Chris Young this offseason. The Mets subsequently signed Young.

Read the full news story here.

Market Watch: Life after Granderson

November, 11, 2013
This winter will be a tumultuous one for the Yankees, with a lot of new faces expected to be brought in and old ones to depart. To keep up with it all in the blog, we will track each of the players the Yankees are trying to keep or pursue in a feature we call Market Watch.

As expected, Curtis Granderson has officially turned down the Yankees' qualifying offer. So what happens after Granderson? Well, he is still a possibility to return, as the Yankees could sign him to a multiyear deal, but he is not their first choice.

Right now, they have Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki.

They also have Zoilo Almonte on the 40-man roster and they just signed Antoan Richardson, according to our own Jerry Crasnick. Richardson is a fourth-outfielder type.

But it seems likely the Yankees will add a big-time outfielder by the end of winter. If they don't, it will be Gardner in center, Soriano in left and Wells and Ichiro platooning in right. So let's go to the Big Board and rank the candidates, from those who are most likely to wind up in pinstripes to those who are possible, but not as likely.

1. Carlos Beltran: Beltran, who will be 37 next year, would be a guy who could play right field and DH. He has wanted to be a Yankee in the past, and the team likes the shorter terms he will likely receive compared to some of the younger outfielders.

Spend Hal's Money: Beltran

2. Shin-Soo Choo: Choo, 31, is a high on-base guy whom many think would play well at Yankee Stadium. He is going to be a big outlay because he is relatively young. With Scott Boras as his agent, he may be on the market for a long time, so he still could be available when the Yankees find out in late December or January whether Alex Rodriguez's money is coming off the books.

Spend Hal's Money: Choo

3. Granderson: He is arguably the best power guy of the group. There are no questions about whether he can handle New York. If healthy, he might turn out to be the best of the bunch. The Yankees would have loved it if he had taken the one-year qualifier.

Spend Hal's Money: Granderson

4. Jacoby Ellsbury: He is probably too much like Gardner, whom the Yankees may have to pay next offseason when he becomes a free agent.

Spend Hal's Money: Ellsbury

5. Nelson Cruz: In light of the A-Rod circus, not sure the Yankees would want another Biogenesis All-Star.

Spend Hal's Money: Cruz

6. Marlon Byrd: If they strike out on everyone else, maybe Byrd becomes an option. He had a good year, but I think the Yankees would want to get a more proven player.

NYY priorities: McCann, Tanaka, Grandy (?)

November, 6, 2013

NEW YORK -- The Yankees holiday shopping season is in full swing, and the proverbial source-with-knowledge enumerated the club's priorities to me today as follows: free-agent catcher Brian McCann, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, and their own free-agent, Curtis Granderson.

Huh? What about Robinson Cano?

"Nothing happening there until December,'' said the source, who spoke to on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, the Yankees have made contact with Cano's representatives since extending him the $14.1 million qualifying offer last week, and made an offer that the club believes is the best one Cano will receive.

Still, while Cano has not officially turned down the qualifier -- players have until Nov. 12 to notify teams of their decisions -- his reps have made it clear to the Yankees that they have no intention of signing anything until they see what else the market has to offer them. It is believed the Yankees offer is for either six or seven years at somewhere between $25 million and $30 million a year. (Owner Hal Steinbrenner has already said the Yankees were "not prepared" to offer Cano the 10 years he is said to be seeking.

"[The Yankees] are prepared to go up a little if necessary," said the source, "but they don't think there's a team out there that will outbid them."

Which brings us back to McCann, the most-sought-after catcher on the free-agent market this year.

The Yankees interest in the former Braves catcher is not news -- our own Andrew Marchand broke it down last week -- but it does confirm that the experiment of trying to get by with a defensive catcher is over, and that the Yankees recognize that they need more offense behind the plate. That means it's back to back-up duty for the Chris Stewarts and Francisco Cervellis of the world.

It might also mean the Yankees will take a look at Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was not given a qualifying offer by the Red Sox and can be signed without the loss of a draft pick.

Salty's 2013 numbers -- 14 HRs, 63 RBI, .273 BA, .804 OPS -- were comparable to McCann's but not in line with the 30-year-old's average season, which is 21 HRs, 80 RBI, a .277 BA and .823 OPS. Still, he is a switch-hitter (McCann is a lefty), a year younger, and salary history (he made $4.5M last year to McCann's $12 M) indicates he might come cheaper, especially since there is expected to be a strong market for McCann.

As for Tanaka, he is the latest sensational Japanese pitching prospect to be coveted by MLB teams, although he has not officially been posted yet, and in fact, the agreement between MLB and the Japanese league expired and needs to be renegotiated. But after being outbid on Daisuke Matsuzaka a few years back and and passing on Yu Darvish two winters ago, the Yankees seem determined to make a strong push for Tanaka, who was described to me by a Japanese baseball writer who has seen him pitch as "better than Darvish."

Granderson's name on the priority list comes as a bit of a surprise, as does the information that there may be a split within the Yankee ranks about whether or not he will accept the $14.1 million qualifying offer. (The Yankees also gave it to Hiroki Kuroda and say they still have no idea if he even plans to pitch again in 2014).

According to one voice in the Yankees front office, Granderson will accept the offer because of a soft market and the widespread belief around baseball that he strikes out too much and is no more than a 30-HR away from Yankee Stadium. Other team officials, however, believe Granderson will be at least as valuable as Nick Swisher was last year to the Cleveland Indians, who gave him four years at $56 million, or Hunter Pence was this winter to the Giants, who just extended him for five year and $90 million.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman would not confirm interest in any particular free agent, citing tampering regulations, but as always, did not rule out interest in anyone. "We're calling on all free agents, with varying level of interest," he said. "We're going to look at the total pool and decide what's best to try to improve our club. Within our budget constraints, of course."

Granderson: I'm open to play for anyone

November, 5, 2013
If we have learned anything from Curtis Granderson's time in New York, it's that he is a genial guy who is not to one to make declarative statements. So when he was asked on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM by hosts Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth this morning about accepting the Yankees' qualifying offer, Granderson did his usual dance, but he tipped his hand slightly.

Granderson has until Monday to accept the $14.1 million one-year deal from the Yankees. If not, he can sign with anyone, including the Yankees.

“Well, it’s definitely something you’ve got to think about and I appreciate the Yankees extending that offer to me," Granderson said. "You definitely got to continue to weigh all your options to see what’s the best fit for you. Is it doing something like you said, the qualifying offer and going back out there again, or seeing what else is out there? You know, there are 29 other ballclubs out there and we’re now at a point where every team has the chance to be a contender here in the near future. The days of 'I don’t want to play for those teams' are kind of over with now, which is a great thing for baseball and fans in general. Because everybody’s got an opportunity to step up, surprise you, get things going, their minor league systems are great, and have a chance to win.”

Translation: He appreciates the offer, but he will likely turn it down. We think he will do as we wrote on Monday.

On SiriusXM, Granderson was asked whether he wants to play in Chicago. North Side? South Side?

“You know what’s crazy?" Granderson said. "A lot of people have been asking me, ‘Has the media been talking to you a lot about it?’ I go, ‘Being out in the community here in Chicago now, that’s my big question amongst just fans. ‘Hey, are you coming home?’ And then the big question is ‘Which home, Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox?’ I’m excited that there is interest and there’s buzz and people are willing and excited to see what I’m going to do. But the process is here, it’s underway, and just excited to see how it is all going to happen. I’ve enjoyed my time with New York and we’ve got to see what’s going to happen there first but I’m open for everything. Let’s just see how it is all going to end up happening and see what happens with the Yankees first.”

QUESTION: Do you want Granderson back in the Bronx?

Market Watch: Curtis Granderson

November, 4, 2013
This winter will be a tumultuous one for the Yankees with a lot of new faces expected to be brought in and old ones to depart. To keep up with it all in the blog, we will track each of the players the Yankees are trying to keep or pursue in a feature we call Market Watch.

The Yankees made Curtis Granderson the $14.1 million qualifying offer, guaranteeing they will receive a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of next year's if he turns it down to sign elsewhere.

He should, and I have indications that he will. In our original Market Watch on Granderson, we went into some of the reasons why after speaking with his agent, Matt Brown.

Despite missing 101 games in 2013 because he kept breaking bones, Granderson, who turns 33 in March, can market himself as the best power-hitting, left-handed hitting outfielder in the 2013 free agent class. Brown is quick to point out that Granderson's 84 homers were the most in baseball the previous two years.

To those who say Granderson is a Yankee Stadium creation, Brown quickly counters that nearly 40 percent (37) of those 84 long balls were hit on the road.

“He’s probably the best guy in all of baseball, as a human being,” Brown said. “Plus, he can run.”

Granderson would be accepting a pay cut if he took the one-year qualifying offer. That makes no sense when he can go into the market and drive up the price with the good chance that he can get a multi-year deal.

I know a lot of fans are down on Granderson because of his strikeouts and that is fair. But Brown made a pretty compelling case when you compare Granderson to the other top outfielders on the market.

Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury are more reliant on their legs and figure to cost more money than Granderson will. While Carlos Beltran, 37 next season, is an enticing short-term option, he still must be considered a major injury risk, despite his good health the last two seasons.

Granderson missed most of last year, but they were freak injuries -- broken bones -- that really should have no impact in 2014. Granderson knows all this, which is why I would be shocked if he doesn't turned down the qualifier and try for a deal that is in the three- or four-year range for $45-$60M.

MORE READING: Spend Hal's Money: Curtis Granderson

QUESTION: How would you rate the outfielders?

World Series over? Fun begins

October, 31, 2013

NEW YORK -- Now that the World Series is over, what is likely to be a busy Yankees off-season can begin. Over the next two weeks, here is what is going to happen:

• Derek Jeter either will notify the club that he will exercise his $9.5 million option for 2014, or that he will roll the dice on free agency after his injury-shortened 2013 season, in which he played all of 17 games. Sources tell that Jeter has not contacted the Yankees yet, and calls and texts to Jeter's agent from ESPNNewYork have gone unanswered. But a person with knowledge of the situation says the Yankees expect Jeter will exercise his option and return to the club for 2014. The source said that in the winter of 2010, when Jeter and the Yankees were locked into an acrimonious contract negotiation, there were "rumblings'' that Jeter was unhappy and might look elsewhere. "Nothing like that this time,'' said the source.

Besides, aside from his name and reputation, Jeter -- who wil turn 40 in June -- doesn't have much to sell this time around.

• The Yankees will probably tender qualifying offers of around $14 million to Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda, but not to Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Boone Logan. Nothing surprising there, and a source said the Yankees were not expecting any of the three to accept them -- Cano, of course, is in line for a huge free-agent deal, Granderson is looking for a multi-year contract and Kuroda pitched for $15 million in 2013 -- but the club was hopeful that Granderson might see the value in taking the offer to play one more year in Yankee Stadium, where he hit 47 of his MLB-leading 84 home runs over 2011-2012.

• The Yankees plan to meet one more time with Cano's representatives during the 15-day exclusivity period that begins today, but they still fully expect Cano to declare himself a free-agent and test the market. "He'd be crazy not to,'' said a source with knowledge of the thinking on both sides. Another source confirmed that a report that Cano was seeking a 10-year deal for $300 million was "100 percent accurate,'' adding, "The days of the 10-year deals are over.'' In a radio interview after the end of the regular season, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said that while the club would do everything "within reason'' to retain Cano, that did not include signing him to a 10-year deal. "I don't feel this organization is ready to do something like that,'' he said.

Market Watch: Curtis Granderson

October, 23, 2013
This winter will be a tumultuous one for the Yankees with a lot of new faces expected to be brought in and old ones to depart. To keep up with it all in the blog, we will track each of the players the Yankees are trying to keep or pursue in a feature we call Market Watch.

The Yankees are expected to offer Curtis Granderson the one-year qualifying offer of $14.1 million.

"He is going to have to look real hard at that," Granderson's agent, Matt Brown, told "At the same time, it is his first chance to be a free agent. He is open to anything. If he is offered the qualifying offer, he would look long and hard at that.”

Granderson will look hard at it and then he will turn it down. Out of respect for the Yankees and the process, Brown would not say that. The Yankees have not made the offer -- they are expected to do so after the World Series concludes -- so Brown is going to keep the options open. But, at the end of the day, there are too many reasons for Granderson to test the market.

Despite missing 101 games in 2013 because he kept breaking bones, Granderson, who turns 33 in March, can market himself as the best power-hitting, left-handed hitting outfielder in the 2013 free agent class. Brown is quick to point out that Granderson's 84 homers were the most in baseball the previous two years.

To those who say Granderson is a Yankee Stadium creation, Brown quickly counters that nearly 40 percent (37) of those 84 long balls were hit on the road.

“He’s probably the best guy in all of baseball, as part as a human being,” Brown said. “Plus, he can run.”

So Granderson is going to test the market where he should be able to receive a three or four year deal at around the $15M per year.

The Chicago White Sox, in his hometown, are already said to be interested. Texas, St. Louis and Boston all could have a need and money, depending on what happens with Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The more you think about it, if Robinson Cano were to leave, then the Yankees would have to hope that Granderson would still be out there because left-handed hitting power is hard to find. Despite my initial impulse, a case can be made that he is a better fit than Choo or Ellsbury for the Yankees. Plus, though, Beltran has stayed healthy for a couple of years, there is a Yankee concern that the bill could come due soon.

Granderson also has proven he can handle the Bronx. Brown reiterated that Granderson loves playing in New York.

Spend Hal's Money: Curtis Granderson

October, 10, 2013
Curtis GrandersonGreg M. Cooper/USA TODAY SportsWe want to know how you'd spend Hal Steinbrenner's money this winter. Is Curtis Granderson worthy?
Hal Steinbrenner's "serious goal" is to have the Yankees' payroll fall below the $189 million salary threshold. With that in mind, here at ESPN New York, we are going to examine potential free-agent and trade candidates in a feature we call "Spend Hal's Money."


Should the Yankees spend Hal Steinbrenner's money on Curtis Granderson?


Discuss (Total votes: 4,649)

Candidate: Curtis Granderson
Position: OF/DH
Age: 32
Height: 6-1
Weight: 195
2013: .229, 7 HRs, 15 RBIs, .723 OPS

SHOULD THE YANKEES SPEND HAL'S MONEY?: Timing can be everything in free agency. Granderson finished fourth in the MVP voting in 2011 and looked like a guy who eventually would receive a $100 million contract. In 2012, he hit more home runs -- 43, two more than in 2011 -- but also struck out an alarming 195 times, and hit just .232.

Granderson needed a big season to really cement his free-agent value. Instead, this year, from the first inning of spring training, he dealt with broken bones and a demotion from center field to a corner outfield spot to DH. He did it with a solid attitude, but when you think about where he was then and where he is now, there is not going to be any nine-figure contracts coming his way.

However, Granderson may receive a three- or four-year deal worth $50 million to $60 million, though it probably won't come from the Yankees, even if they remain his first choice. The Yankees are expected to offer Granderson the $13.8 million, one-year qualifying offer that will ensure they receive a first-round pick if he flees.

Granderson will have teams interested in him as part of an outfield free-agent class that includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz. In his hometown of Chicago, the White Sox are already said to have plans to go after the Grandy Man.

Granderson will be 33 by the start of next season. He is the type of player the Yankees need to start shying away from a year too early, rather than a year too late.

OUR VERDICT: If Granderson accepts the one-year qualifying offer, that's great. If not, let him walk.

Rapid Reaction: Rays 4, Yankees 2

August, 24, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Yankees come to Tropicana Field. CC Sabathia faces David Price.

Yankees lose at Tropicana Field. Sabathia loses to Price.

How predictable.

On a night when the Yankees desperately needed an ace-like performance from Sabathia, they got five innings of excellence and one of catastrophic failure, which was just enough to insure that the above scenario, which plays out on an annual basis here, played out again tonight.

More importantly, with their 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, the Yankees slip to seven games back in the AL wild-card race (4½ out of the second wild-card spot), another game comes off the rapidly dwindling schedule, and they now sit perilously close to being swept in a series they desperately needed to win.

CC = Close (but no) Cigar: Sabathia turned in one of his better lines of the season, allowing six hits and three runs in 6⅓ innings and striking out seven. But, once again, Sabathia was unable to hold a lead and incapable of delivering a shutdown inning. The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but Sabathia gave it back, with interest, an inning later. Sabathia is now 4-12 against the Rays since becoming a Yankee, 3-8 at the Trop and 1-6 in head-to-head matchups with Price.

Early speed: Sabathia showed some of his highest gun readings of the season, hitting 95 mph on a third strike to Sean Rodriguez in the second inning. Through the first three innings, the Rays managed just two baserunners -- a double by Evan Longoria that shot past Alex Rodriguez and up the line in left in the first and a two-out walk to Desmond Jennings in the third. In fact, Sabathia did not allow a ball to be hit to the outfield until Sam Fuld's bloop single to left leading off the sixth inning.

Deep-sixed: Fuld's single started a disastrous sixth inning for CC, who walked Jennings, the next batter, and went to 3-1 on Ben Zobrist when, suddenly, a ball got loose from the Yankees bullpen and rolled onto the field, causing the umpires to call time as Sabathia was about to release the pitch. Zobrist lined the next delivery between Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson to score both runners and tie the game at two. Longoria then followed with a line single to left, scoring Zobrist to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. CC got two big strikeouts but Yunel Escobar reached on an infield hit to give the Rays two on with two out. The Yankees were spared further damage when James Loney lined out to Mark Reynolds at first.

Evan Long ball: Longoria dropped a cherry on the sundae in the eighth, blasting a 1-2 pitch from Preston Claiborne over the center-field fence to add an insurance run.

Priced out: The Yankees squeezed two runs off Price in the fourth, both courtesy of Austin Romine, after loading the bases on singles by A-Rod, Vernon Wells and Reynolds. Romine worked out a nine-pitch walk, fouling off four straight 3-2 pitches, to force in the first run, and his heady baserunning on Ichiro's groundout to second -- hesitating between first and second so that Zobrist could not tag him out -- allowed the second run to score from third.

Not so fast: Soriano was so sure he had hit a home run off Price in the sixth, he went into the whole routine -- flipping the bat away, skipping his way from home to first -- only to see Rodriguez make an excellent leaping catch at the wall in left.

What's next: Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.17 ERA) tries to avert the sweep against RHP Alex Cobb (8-2, 2.85) in the series finale. The first pitch is at 1:40 p.m.

Rapid Reaction: Rays 7, Yankees 2

August, 23, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Maddon said before the game the Tampa Bay Rays would not hit Alex Rodriguez, and it turned out they didn't have to.

They hit Hiroki Kuroda instead.

In a loss that seemed to undo a lot of the good they accomplished in winning their previous five games, the Yankees dropped further back in the wild-card race after what was arguably Kuroda's worst performance as a Yankee. More alarmingly, it was the second straight bad start for the 38-year-old righty, who had emerged as the Yankees' ace this season.

Now, the Yankees need a big performance out of CC Sabathia on Saturday or risk heading into Sunday's game facing a potentially devastating series sweep by the surging Rays, who have won four of their past five.

Can't spell Hiroki without HR: Kuroda had not allowed a home run since June 30, a span of 58⅓ innings but allowed three tonight, including back-to-back solo HRs by Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce in the third. Then, Ben Zobrist added a solo blast in the fifth to make it 7-1. The four home runs allowed matched Kuroda's career high, accomplished on Sept. 5, 2011, by the Washington Nationals. This was Kuroda's second straight poor outing and his worst since the June 30 game against Baltimore, in which he allowed three HRs.

Career night: The four home runs allowed by Kuroda weren't the only career best he matched tonight. So were the seven runs allowed, which also took place on Sept. 5, 2011, against the Nationals.

Arch enemy: Rays starter Chris Archer handled the Yankees for the third time this season, working seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball. His ERA in three starts against New York this season, including his two-hit shutout in July, is 1.23 (three earned runs over 22 innings).

Stolen run: The Yankees initially jumped ahead on a run basically created by Brett Gardner. The Yankees leadoff hitter walked, stole second (without a throw), went to third on a fly out and scored on Alfonso Soriano's single to right, Sori's 29th RBI since joining the Yankees.

Ring-a-ding! Jose Lobaton rang the pipe down the right-field line off the first pitch he saw from Kuroda in the second inning with two runners aboard to give the Rays a 3-1 lead. That snapped Kuroda's homerless streak at 58⅓ innings.

Double jeopardy: Gardner's speed got him into trouble in the third, when he took off on a 2-2 pitch to Curtis Granderson, who hit a sinking liner to right field that Joyce charged and caught on the run, resulting in an easy double play after the throw behind Gardner, who was all the way to second base when the catch was made.

One-man show: Gardner also created the Yankees' second run of the game by tripling to right to start the sixth inning and scoring on Robinson Cano's groundout to cut the Rays' lead to 7-2. Gardner had a perfect night at the plate -- on base four times with two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch, plus his team-leading 22nd stolen base. On the bases, not so much -- in addition to getting doubled off on Granderson's liner, Gardner got picked off first in the eighth inning.

Uncle, Joba: Now that Joba Chamberlain only seems to pitch in games in which the Yankees are hopelessly behind, the two words just seem to go together. Joba came on in relief of Kuroda to start the seventh with the Yankees trailing by five runs.

What's next: The middle child of this three-game series matches Sabathia (11-10, 4.83 ERA) versus LHP David Price (7-5, 3.29), with the first pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Wells on Sawx: 'We've got work to do'

August, 15, 2013
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are looking up at the Red Sox in the standings heading into this weekend’s three-game series at Fenway Park.

Fourth-place New York currently trails first-place Boston by nearly 10 games in the American League East.

"We've got some work to do," Vernon Wells said following his team’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. "It's well-documented."

Vernon Wells
AP Photo/Kathy WillensVernon Wells and the Yankees are looking forward to battling the BoSox over the weekend.
The Yankees need to win 31 of their remaining 41 games to finish the season with 93 victories, the total manager Joe Girardi figures will get them the second wild-card spot in the AL.

Their margin for error is extremely slim, so the series at Fenway is one they can’t afford to lose.

"It's gonna be a big three-game series. Not [just] the fact that it's a Boston-Yankees series, but the fact that we can gain a lot of ground in the East," Curtis Granderson said. "It's very important for us, but we also have to be cautious [they can also separate themselves even more]. So we have to be ready starting tomorrow. I think the first one's going to be the most important."

The Yankees are 3-6 against the Red Sox this season, but Girardi believes they're a different team with the additions of a healthy Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano and a healthy Granderson.

"I like our chances," Wells said.

It will be interesting to see the reception Rodriguez receives when he steps into the batter's box for his first at-bat Friday night. He's currently appealing a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy and is expected to be showered with boos.

"I don't expect anything to be different [than normal]," Granderson said. "It's going to be loud like it always is. It's going to be fun like it always is. And I think everybody is looking forward to it."

Fun for Soriano, especially. The 37-year-old's last taste of Yankees-Red Sox came in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

"It's been a long time. I’m happy to be back and happy to play with the Yankees and try to do my job," he said.

Soriano has 14 RBIs in his past three games. He had a season-high tying four hits Thursday.

"I feel comfortable at the plate, I'm seeing the ball good and I'm glad to have an opportunity like this and help the team win," Soriano said.



Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146