In a perfect world the New York Mets would have signed free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson to a three-year contract, but Granderson held out for four guaranteed years. And despite Sandy Alderson‘s best effort at playing hardball and forcing Granderson to agree to three years, the Mets were the ones that eventually folded and gave Granderson four years. But they were smart to do so.
If the Mets had held firm on three years, any other team could have swooped in at the last minute and grabbed Granderson, despite several days of serious negotiations between Grandy and the Mets. Conceding a fourth year to his contract was the only way to ensure Granderson signed with the team.
Had the Mets not signed Granderson they’d be up a creek without a paddle. The Mets needed a middle-of-the-order bat in their lineup filled by an outfielder, and Granderson fills that need for them. Without Granderson, the Mets surely would have had to overpay for Nelson Cruz or Shin-Soo Choo, two players that will require more money, more years, and more risk than Granderson.
At the end of the day, committing four years and $60 million to Granderson is a fair deal for both sides, especially considering the current free agent market for outfielders. Granderson may not hold up for the entire four years, but if it took guaranteeing a four-year contract in order to sign him then it was the right move for the Mets to make. They just couldn’t allow Granderson to slip through the cracks at the last minute and sign with someone else.