With the signing of Curtis Granderson, the 2014 Mets look significantly different now than they did this morning. Given the fact that the Mets have already signed two free agent outfielders, Granderson and Chris Young, the team’s outfield will look very different next year from the 2013 version.
Since the Mets have said that Young will be close to a full-time player, the starting outfield for the New York Mets will most likely be Chris Young in right field, Juan Lagares in center field, and Granderson in left field. Eric Young Jr., who was tendered a contract for 2014, will likely serve as a fourth outfielder. The Mets have plenty of options for the fifth outfield spot. Young and Lagares are both above average center fielders and even Granderson can probably play there in a pinch, so it seems unlikely that the Mets will place a strong emphasis on their fifth outfielder being able to play center.
The four outfielders guaranteed to be on the 2014 roster include two right-handed hitters, one left-handed hitter, and one switch hitter, meaning that a lefty-hitting outfielder may make more sense. Internal options for the Mets include Andrew Brown, Matt den Dekker, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. The Mets could either invest in a backup outfielder or invite several minor league free agents to spring training to compete with the in-house options.
Now that Eric Young Jr. has been forced out of the lineup, the Mets are without an obvious leadoff hitter. Granderson seems likely to bat cleanup, though Young may make more sense in that spot against left-handed pitching. Granderson’s career .226/.295/.409 line against lefties suggests that he should probably bat further down in the lineup on those days.
Granderson seems likely to be a significant upgrade over the previous group of players who were slated to spend time in left field. It seems reasonable that he can add about two wins to the 2014 Mets.