Despite his age and issues at the plate, outfielder Curtis Granderson wants to play baseball next season, preferably with the Marlins.
It was a low-risk, high-reward moves the Marlins front office made prior to the start of Spring Training that offered depth at a position that still had plenty of questions. As we have seen over the course of the season, manager Don Mattingly has used plenty of different outfield combinations, with younger players having the opportunity to make a solid first impression.
Now, with the end of the season less than a week away, the Marlins will have to decide if Granderson, the elder statesman of the team’s 40-man roster, will get another chance to play in the Majors next season, and if he has another opportunity to play in a Miami uniform.
If the 38-year-old had to make the decision, he would want to remain in South Florida, helping to mentor a young outfield for the future.
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"“A lot of it is going to depend on the 30 ballclubs,” Granderson said in Bill Ladson’s story on MLB.com. “The way things have been moving [in free agency] the past couple of years — it has not only affected me, but other free agents — doesn’t make it like it’s going to be a slam dunk like you are going to roll into a job and get something.”"
The Marlins could afford to bring Granderson back, but with the many youngsters trying to crack the Major League roster, it is not the economy of baseball preventing this from possibly happening, rather a numbers game and the team’s desire to move in another direction.
Personally, I could see Granderson in a coaching role with the organization should this be his last as a player full-time.
Granderson has given the Marlins solid defensive presence in the outfield, but the time at the plate has been suspect. He has 11 home runs this season and 33 RBI in 308 plate appearances. Not bad for a man his age. But the .185 batting average is a concern.
Also working against him is the surge by Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez, Magneuris Sierra, and Austin Dean in September. And if that wasn’t enough, the Marlins have prospects at the Triple-A level who could push for playing time next year.
It’s his desire to help the youngsters on this roster than might help his cause in 2020.
"“Grandy is awesome. Grandy for president. I’m not kidding,” Mattingly said. “Grandy is a unique dude. He is willing to give these guys advice, help a guy grow up. He is a great example. Grandy is one of the keys for us. He continues to play hard, continues to have a good perspective on the season.”"