Since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has named someone their “NEXT” athlete. It’s the person who, according to ESPN, “is a future leader or trailblazer in their sport.” They just named Buster Posey their NEXT athlete for 2011. Buster Olney has a nice writeup of Posey here.
I think Posey has as bright a future in baseball as anyone. But for his sake, I hope that ESPN has changed its criteria for choosing its Nexteroo. The last two baseball players chosen: Joba Chamberlain and Kaz Matsui.
Yeah, well, the title isn’t the NEXT good athlete. Just NEXT.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Monday night that the Blue Jays have signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a one-year, $5 million deal. The contract is pending a physical and includes performance incentives.
Granderson, who turns 37 years old in March, spent last season with the Mets and Dodgers, batting an aggregate .212/.323/.452 with 26 home runs and 64 RBI in 527 plate appearances. He struggled offensively after going to the Dodgers, mustering a paltry .654 OPS. He went 1-for-15 in the playoffs as well.
The Blue Jays will likely platoon Granderson in the corner outfield. His career OPS is 158 points higher versus right-handed pitchers than against left-handers.