Leadership was mentioned as a significant issue in the Red Sox falling short in 2017 and that means leadership on the field and in the clubhouse. New manager Alex Cora certainly knows the importance of having a veteran skilled in clubhouse diplomacy and having some ability on the field to compliment it. That means Curtis Granderson.
Granderson has awards for being skilled off the field for recognizing his community outreach. Former Commissioner Bud Selig honored Granderson for his international ambassador role for baseball. His endorsement money goes to inner-city baseball programs and his financial generosity is legendary. As solid citizens go on the diamond and off the diamond Granderson is in the top tier, but can he still play?
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The results of 2017 say the end may have been reached as Grandy Man hit just .212 between the Mets and Dodgers. What does catch your attention is to very attractive baseball numbers 26 and 64 – as in 26 home runs and 64 RBI. The left-hand bat of Granderson can still generate power.
Granderson will be 37-years-old when the season starts in 2018 so age is creeping up. Last season Granderson – never Gold Glove material – played all three outfield positions with a combined 0.0 UZR/150. For 2017 Granderson did have a respectable 2.1 fWAR and what it will come down to is the combination of money and opportunity for Granderson wants another year in the bigs.
The Red Sox paid Young $6.5 Million and can certainly make a similar offer to Granderson or higher. Then there is the opportunity and that has two prongs with the first being playing time and the second being his leadership.
Granderson can still play the field, but the AL has the DH and that could be a rather attractive enticement to the veteran. Off the bench, his bat would be a plus in late-game situations – a failing for Young in 2017.