Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson tore a ligament in his left thumb on a slide into second base during the NLCS against the Cubs. You wouldn’t know it by his production during the World Series against the Royals, as he slugged three home runs while posting a 1.060 OPS. The injury required surgery after the Mets lost the series in five games, but upon reporting to Mets camp today, Granderson told Marc Carig of Newsday that he’s fully recovered and began hitting as normal in January.
While Yoenis Cespedes got most of the attention for helping reshape the offense after the trade deadline last season, Granderson was the team’s most valuable position player. Serving as the regular leadoff hitter and right fielder, he batted .259/.364/.457 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 98 runs scored over 157 games. His .821 OPS was his best since 2011 as a member of the Yankees. The Mets have designs on a return to the World Series, so the big question is whether he can come close to a repeat as he moves into his age-35 season.
As part of his four-year, $60 million contract with New York, Granderson is owed $16 million this season and $15 million in 2017.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.