Curtis Granderson just wants to help out. That is why he was at Citi Field Wednesday for the Mets’ annual food drive and that is why, while he was there, he said he will play wherever the club wants him to play. Especially if the Mets sign Yoenis Cespedes, which he hopes will happen.
“The big thing I would tell him is enjoy the process. You get a chance to be a free agent only a few times over the course of your career,” said Granderson, who came to Queens from the Bronx as a free agent. “A lot of people look for that opportunity for teams to show their interest in you. The Mets are obviously one of those teams that has a lot of interest in him. I’d love to have him back. He has been a great teammate for the time I’ve had a chance to play with him. Hopefully that won’t be it.”
But if the club re-signs Cespedes and does not trade Jay Bruce, where does that leave Granderson? He gamely made the uncomfortable transition to centerfield late this past season to accommodate both of those sluggers when Terry Collins asked him to do so.
“Wherever Terry wants to put me, I’ll be out there, whether it’s left, center or right,” Granderson said. “Obviously Juan Lagares is going to be trying to come back and get himself healthy. He’s a Gold Glove outfielder and I’d love to have him out there because he’s one of the best in the game.”
He also mentioned the potential of Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, adding, “If Cespedes happens to come back, it just gives us depth so we have a lot of options and flexibility . . . The big thing is, I think the organization is in a really good position to continue to keep moving forward and be as competitive as we were last year and the year before.”
On a rainy November afternoon, Granderson was doing a little of everything, including unloading boxes of food from a truck that had a big picture of him on the side. The event at Citi Field allowed the Mets’ drive to join with his Grand Giving organization, which provides food for children in New York and Chicago, his hometown.
Granderson was there during the World Series to receive Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for humanitarian work. He stayed around to witness the overflowing joy for the Cubs’ triumph. He wasn’t among the millions on the parade route, but some of his friends were.
“The stories I heard were about people calling their grandparents, crying over the phone,” he said. “I hope we can do that here for the Mets. I know it hasn’t been nearly as long of a drought, but it has been a long drought, but hopefully we can cut that shorter by getting all the pieces we need to and be competitive again.”