In a move that should not shock anybody, outfielder Curtis Granderson has declined the 1 year, $14.1 million qualifying offer presented to him by the New York Yankees. This means that Granderson is now a free agent. If he signs with another team, the Yankees will receive a draft choice. This continues the pattern of free agents not accepting qualifying offers considering all 13 players who were offered the $14 million rejected the deals.
For the Yankees, it does not seem as if Granderson will return to the Bronx considering he is most likely going to receive a multi-year deal from another team. Four teams that are interested in the “Grandy Man’s” services are the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets appear to be the favorite at this point. They are hoping to meet with Granderson’s agent, Matt Brown, this week at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
One of the reasons you are seeing an unlikely return for Granderson is that Brown is banking on teams focusing on his client’s production of 40+ home runs in 2011 and 2012. He only played 61 games last season due to breaking his forearm and pinkie on separate occasions during last season. The Yankees were probably hoping that Granderson would turn down the offer so they can get the draft pick and also use the money to upgrade on other positions.
With Hal Steinbrenner expected to pursue a number of high quality free agents, it seemed more likely that Granderson and the Yankees would part ways. Some of the names that are floated out there are catcher Brian McCann, outfielders Shin Soo-Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury, and Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka.
Will the New York Yankees be able to acquire some of the players on their “Christmas List?” We are about to find out.