Here’s a trade that should be a no-brainer come September, when trading becomes easier (but prohibits players playing post-season games for their new team.) It won’t alter the trajectory of either team much and is unlikely to have much lasting impact on the teams’ futures, Yet it’s a win-win trade for the two teams and their fans.
Ross Atkins, call up the Big Apple. The Blue Jays need to flip Curtis Granderson to the Mets in return for Jose Bautista. It might not add a single win to either club’s total but it would be eminently pleasing to fans in both cities…and after all, baseball is a form of entertainment.
I wrote here early this season how the pair are as close to statistical identical twins as can be. That continues through 2018. Granderson, with Toronto, has appeared in 98 games, and is hitting .241 with 11 homers, 35 RBI and a .342 on base percentage, playing adequately in the outfield. Bautista, now with the Mets after a brief stint with Atlanta, has played 86 games, hitting just .200 but with 10 HR and 40 RBI and a .345 on base due to his ability to take walks left and right. Both players are 37, both debuted in 2004, both hit a grand slam for their teams last week! Career wise, Bautista has 1762 games under his belt, with a .248 avg, 341 HR and 967 RBI. Granderson, 1894 games, .252, 330/900. Both are frankly, only a shadow of their former selves on the field but still play hard and could, I’d expect, inspire some of the younger ones in the dugout.
So the two peas in a pod are pretty much the same on-field but are both out of place. Granderson played from 2010 to ’13 with the Yankees, having his best season (2011 with 119 RBI and a .532 slugging percentage) in Pinstripes. Then he moved cross-town to play from ’14 through mid-season last year with the Mets. Grandy won the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award for his charity work, and is well-loved in the Big Apple for his work with under-privileged inner city kids.
Bautista, of course, had all his noteworthy success with the Blue Jays from 2008 through 2017, being a 6-time All Star and working his way up to second in the franchise all-time home run hitting list. He’s loved by the Canadian public and, let’s be honest, rather despised by many fans elsewhere. He’s done a good amount of charity work in Toronto and works to help kids in his native land, the Dominican Republic, get good educations.
Toronto and the Mets are even alike as teams this year. Both have 69 losses, are in fourth in their divisions and have generally under-achieved in no small measure. Let’s give the fans something good to remember the year by– and two of the greats of this era who are likely as not in their final go-rounds as major leaguers..