Curtis Granderson isn’t the all-star slugger that he once was, but he’s still a solid player with offensive upside who shouldn’t be overlooked in MLB free agency.
A few weeks ago, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic tweeted that Curtis Granderson, who will be 38 next season, fully intends to play in the majors for another year. Granderson may not be on the top of many teams’ wish lists when it comes to MLB free agency, but he’s still a solid player that’s worth taking a look at.
While many sluggers struggle as their power disappears with age Granderson has been able to successfully refine his approach by focusing on plate discipline and keeping the ball off the ground. His .351 OBP in 2018 was well above the league average, and his 13.3% walk rate was right around his career high.
These numbers don’t fully mitigate the fact that Granderson can no longer be counted on as a 30+ HR guy, but they do illustrate that he still has the potential to add value to a team’s offense in either a bench or platoon role, with most of his success coming against right-handed pitching.
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Granderson’s play in the field hasn’t aged as well as his offense, but he was still able to put in some time at all three outfield positions last year. This flexibility makes Granderson a great double switch candidate, something that would make him even more valuable to a National League club.
Granderson would serve as a great backup to McCutchen and right fielder Nick Williams; he has the opposite platoon advantage of McCutchen, and he’d be able to fill during important periods of the season if Williams isn’t able to produce.
Williams is young with a lot of raw talent, but he struggled last year and might be able to better develop with Granderson taking some pressure off of him.
Of course, if Bryce Harper ends up on the Phillies then this idea will certainly not come to fruition, but there’s plenty of other teams, like the Braves and Rays, that could benefit from Granderson’s presence both as a veteran presence and as an offensive contributor.