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 Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.