Talks intensify for Mets, Granderson

Updated: December 5, 2013, 9:49 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Talks between the New York Mets and Curtis Granderson's representatives intensified late Tuesday, and a source familiar with the negotiations told ESPNNewYork.com the organization is working to land the free-agent outfielder on a three-year deal.

The Mets remain engaged with Granderson's representatives Thursday, trying to close out a deal.

"We are still in the process so I can't say we are close or far at this point," a source familiar with the negotiations indicated Thursday morning.

The Mets may ultimately concede and guarantee a fourth year in order to land Granderson, a source said.

[+] EnlargeCurtis Granderson
Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports Outfielder Curtis Granderson has hit 115 home runs in less than 3½ seasons with the Yankees.

Granderson, who will turn 33 in March, said Tuesday on a conference call regarding the players' union that he met Sunday with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. That has been described as more of an introductory meeting, though, so talks have escalated quickly.

"We ate a nice meal, and it was great to enjoy some salmon," Granderson said.

Granderson would provide a second power infusion to the Mets' outfield, which desperately needs a power upgrade. The Mets signed former Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract last week. Last season, the Mets ranked 11th in the National League in home runs. They surrendered 22 more long balls than they produced.

Granderson, meanwhile, had 41 homers in 2011 and 43 in 2012 with the New York Yankees, albeit with a more homer-friendly home ballpark in the Bronx. A broken forearm during spring training and a pinkie injury suffered during the season limited Granderson to 245 plate appearances in 2013.

The Mets also need to balance their lineup with a lefty bat such as Granderson's.

The team's projected lineup includes right-handed hitters Young, David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada, plus lefties Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda or Ike Davis. There also is switch-hitter Eric Young Jr.

Granderson would become, by far, the largest contract awarded by Alderson in four offseasons as Mets GM. The current distinction belongs to former closer Frank Francisco, who received a now-expired two-year, $12 million deal during the 2011-12 offseason.

Granderson is a natural center fielder. It would appear, should the Mets complete the deal, that Granderson would play left field, with Lagares in center and Chris Young in right. That potentially would free up Eric Young to play second base should the Mets trade Murphy.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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