Posted on August 19, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The rich are getting richer ahead of baseball’s stretch run. While the Los Angeles Dodgers run away with the NL West and the best record in baseball, they are making moves to get better for the postseason. Early Saturday morning, the Dodgers acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets for a player to be named later.
With Granderson, the Dodgers are adding some much-needed outfield depth. Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig have emerged as regulars in the Los Angeles outfield amidst a slew of injuries. Reserve outfielder Andrew Toles is out for the season with a knee injury. Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether Franklin Gutierrez and Andre Ethier will be able to rejoin the Dodgers before the end of the season.
Granderson’s immediate role with the Dodgers is unclear. But he would certainly be a useful fourth outfielder, as he’s capable of playing all three outfield spots. It’s also possible for him to carve out a regular role. Pederson has been in a massive slump, hitting just .156 since the all-star break. Granderson is not an ideal center field at this stage in his career. But he did start 56 games there this year for the Mets, proving he can still handle the position.
On the season, Granderson is hitting just .228 with an OPS of .815. However, considering the fact that he had a dreadful April and slumped again in July, he’s put up solid numbers, especially in the power department. The 34-year old has hit 19 home runs this season, including six this month in just 43 at-bats. He’s been particularly effective against right-handed pitching, which could make him a viable platoon partner for Puig in right field.
In Granderson, the Dodgers are also getting a player with postseason experience. Granderson has played in over 50 postseason games, including a run to the World Series with the Mets just two seasons ago. His experience and veteran leadership make him a great addition to a Dodgers team with a World Series or bust attitude.
“It’s been a great four years here with the Mets organization,” Granderson said of the trade. “All these guys have been amazing. … It’s a little bittersweet. But to get an opportunity to play into the postseason is going to be exciting.”
For the Mets, trading Granderson continues a unique August fire sale. Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Jay Bruce, and Addison Reed have all been traded in the last month. With Granderson joining that list, the Mets have now traded away half the position players in their opening day lineup. Of course, the Mets are out of contention and every player they traded is a free agent this winter who’s unlikely to be re-signed.
Trading Granderson will allow for more playing time for both Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo, who figure to play key roles in New York’s outfield next season. The Mets also have Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto to anchor their outfield the rest of this season and in the years to come.
Of course, the headliner is Granderson joining the Dodgers for their playoff push. Despite some struggles earlier this season, Granderson has come around lately and should be a productive player in whatever role the Dodgers need him to play. Adding a veteran like Granderson who has a wealth of playoff experience will only make the Dodgers more dangerous when they reach the postseason.