The New York Mets have become more active in free agency, signing outfielder Curtis Granderson and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon. It’s a good sign for fans, to see their team actively trying to improve the club for the present.
To make sure they landed the players they wanted, the Mets upped the ante. The Mets first gave Granderson his only four-year deal on the market. Then the club turned and gave Colon a two-year deal. Neither player was signed to have an impact five years from now. The Mets may not even expect both players to continue success during the length of the contracts they signed.
Deals like this happen all the time, especially when a team is trying to win at the moment or attempting to prove something to fans. Adding an extra year to get a player you want can be worth it.
Looking at just this offseason alone, there are examples. The Seattle Mariners gave Robinson Cano a 10-year deal. There was no way the Mariners were thinking they can win with Cano (at least not with out making other big moves), but changing the franchise became a priority.
Signing Granderson and Colon were good moves for the Mets. However, fans should not expect either to have continued success in their final year with the team. Granderson will be 33 at the start of the season, which means he will be 37 when the contract is up. 37 isn’t that old, but expecting Granderson to play center field would be a stretch.
In 2011 and 2012, Granderson received a negative defensive WAR rating. And while last year he was positive, it was only at .2. Also, you need to add in the fact he played each corner outfielder position. Granderson’s ability to make contact has decreased and as he ages, the bat will slow down and could make for a bad 2017.
Colon is already 40 and his birthday is in May. 2015 could see a decrease in velocity, making him a liability. Colon relies a lot on the fastball and his control; a decrease in velocity wouldn’t be good.
However, Colon fills a void for this year and Granderson should be solid for the majority of his contract. Fighting for a Wild Card spot is now much more realistic.