The Miami Marlins today signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) February 5, 2019
Come welcome him to the 305 at FanFest on February 9th! pic.twitter.com/P9VqkJkNLV
Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Granderson will earn $1.75 million if he cracks the active roster with the potential to tack on another $250,000 in incentives.
Granderson has been assigned uniform No. 21. It was last worn by Christian Yelich throughout his Marlins tenure.
Both the timing and purpose of the signing should seem familiar. In 2018, the Marlins paid Cameron Maybin $3.25 million at the start of Spring Training to mentor the organization’s young outfielders, accept a part-time role and perform well enough to attract interest at the trade deadline so that they could recoup controllable talent.
Granderson peaked as a much better player than Maybin—the three-time All-Star owns a .252/.340/.470 career slash line, and his 332 home runs rank sixth among active players.
Players with the most career home runs at the time they joined the Marlins— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) February 5, 2019
1. Andre Dawson, 428
2. Carlos Lee, 354
3. Carlos Delgado, 336
4. Curtis Granderson, 332
Nice company https://t.co/h9Rnomrl6M
That being said, his defense has gradually eroded as has his production against left-handed pitching. The Illinois native turns 38 years old next month. It’s no safe bet that he’ll be viewed as any kind of asset by contending teams.
The Marlins had been approaching this rebuilding season with a very unbalanced lineup. Thankfully, the pick-ups of Neil Walker last week and now Granderson give them a fighting chance against right-handers.
CEO Derek Jeter may have had an influence in this decision. He and Granderson were Yankees teammates from 2010-2013. That included a prolific 2011 campaign for the slugger (.262/.364/.552, 41 HR, 136 R, fourth in AL MVP voting).
Above all else, Granderson brings credibility to the Marlins clubhouse. He can explain to Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and others what steps they must take on and off the field to unlock their full potential.
One of baseball’s leading humanitarians, Granderson won the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognized his sportsmanship and community involvement.
More updates to come...