Monday, February 25, 2013
Chances of Granderson extension
By Jason Catania
Already much has been made of the pending free agency of New York Yankees superstar second baseman Robinson Cano, but the club also has another free-agent-to-be to consider between now and season's end. And an early-spring injury could potentially impact the situation.
Curtis Granderson, the Yankees All-Star centerfielder who has bashed 40-plus home runs each of the past two seasons, is entering the final year of his contract, just like Cano. Granderson, however, is expected to miss 10 weeks after a hit-by-pitch in his first spring at-bat resulted in a broken forearm. That puts the slugger's return somewhere in early May, if everything goes according to plan.
So far, Granderson said he hasn't heard anything from the team as far as discussing an extension, but he would be open to it, according to Dan Martin of the New York Post. The Yankees, though, typically don't entertain extension talk until a contract has played out, which is something the club has already hinted could possibly change for Cano.
Of course, the injury isn't going to help matters at all, and Granderson could be in a sticky spot if he is hoping to stay in New York. Aside from the broken forearm, Granderson's age is advancing (32 next month) as his all-around game is declining -- he smacked a career-high 43 homers in 2012 but also set career-worsts in average at .232 and strikeouts with 195. Granderson is certainly behind Cano on the priority list for the Yanks. Plus, the team's steadfast approach to coming in under the $189 million payroll mark heading into the 2014 season means it's all but guaranteed the Yanks cannot afford both Cano and Granderson going forward.
The fact that Granderson will miss a month-plus of 2013 also hurts his value to the Yankees as a potential trade chip, as he'll have less time to put up big numbers in Yankee Stadium's cozy dimensions and entice suitors. While the club wasn't expected to shop him during the year, he would have been one of the more intriguing chips if New York got off to a disappointing start and started looking to cash in on any tradeable commodities.