Curtis Granderson and the Mets ramping up negotiations

Elsa

Curtis Granderson appears one step closer to making the move to Queens.

Talks between free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets appear to be progressing, according to Marc Craig of Newsday. The Mets and Granderson are known to have mutual interest, and it seems their talks are beyond the exploratory phase at this point. Craig stresses that a deal is not close, but the progress is notable. Granderson and Mets GM Sandy Alderson had a dinner meeting on Sunday night.

Granderson will be 33 on opening day next season and is coming off an injury-plagued 2013 campaign. He spent two separate stints on the disabled list due to broken bones in his forearm and pinkie finger and accrued only 245 plate appearances. His impressive power was affected by the injuries, as he only slugged .407 when he was in the lineup. He managed only seven home runs after crushing 84 of them between 2012 and '13. It surely put a dent in his value as he hit the free agent market, which might just put him in the Mets' price range.

The Mets have spent little on free agents since Alderson took over in 2010. His austere hand has helped clear the Mets' books of unfortunate contracts to the likes of Jason Bay and Johan Santana and served as a responsible-looking contrast to the Wilpon's embroglio with Bernie Madoff. They now appear ready to take a step forward after five straight losing seasons and Granderson looks like their primary target. Craig speculates that Granderson could command $15 million a year for three or even four years, which looks to fit well within the Mets' budget. $50 or $60 million for a player like Granderson certainly looks reasonable in light of the $153 million the Yankees gave to his replacement, Jacoby Ellsbury.

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