The Blue Jays’ signing of Curtis Granderson to a $5 million deal (which could rise to $6.5 million based on the number of plate appearances he takes) had been held up over the last few days as the club needed Granderson to take a physical before the deal could be announced. Today, finally, the deal was made official.
Not long after the Jays tweeted out their confirmation of the deal, Granderson introduced himself to Jays fans:
It’s OFFICIAL – I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining the @BlueJays this season. #Toronto has always been one of my favorite cities and ballparks to play in, so I’m looking forward to a great season ahead, and expanding my #GrandKids Foundation efforts into #Canada! pic.twitter.com/GNHnr47Zqj
— Curtis Granderson (@cgrand3) January 23, 2018
This evening he spoke with the media on a conference call (uh… I think?), talking about why he made the decision to come to Toronto, and what he expects his role to be (and presumably other things).
Curtis Granderson on signing with the Blue Jays: "I’ve always enjoyed Toronto in general. It’s just a really cool city. … Great potential to win and an opportunity to play. A combination of all the things I was looking for in the 2018 season."
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) January 23, 2018
Curtis Granderson says he'll defer to #BlueJays decision makers when it comes to role/playing time. "It’s going to be up to them. They drive the ship. I get in line.”
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 23, 2018
So… that’s something. I don’t know! Some people will like that last bit quite a lot — perhaps especially John Gibbons, who spoke to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun about the club’s newest acquisition: “I think we needed some new faces and we’ve started to do that,” Gibbons said on the weekend. “I’ve always heard good things about him. (Long-time manager Jim Leyland) is a good buddy of mine and he always raved about (Granderson). He’ll be a good stabilizer. He might bring some stability to that clubhouse.”
Did… uh… did the Jays’ clubhouse need stability? We certainly haven’t heard much about discord — which is actually probably an unusual thing for a team that lost as many games as the 2017 Jays did — but I suppose that there could be some kind of a vacuum with the club losing he big presence of José Bautista. And you sure as hell do worse than a genuine pro like Granderson — who as Longley’s piece notes, was the 2016 recipient of the league’s Roberto Clemente Award “which is given to a player deemed to best represent the game through character and community involvement on and off the field” — to help fill that void. At least if that’s the kind of thing you think is particularly important. And evidently Gibbons does.
Granderson’s reputation is pretty impeccable, and you feel that, I think, even in these short snippets.
“He’s a class person, a great player and the ultimate professional,” said Russell Martin about his former teammate with Yankees, also according to Longley’s piece. “He’s probably one of the greatest guys in the game.”
I mean, it’s not going to matter much if he doesn’t bounce back from his miserable performance after being traded to the Dodgers in mid-August, but he’s going to be a fun guy to get to cheer for, and his 124 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers during his time with the Mets in 2017 suggests that he really should be able to help.