While it's always tough to talk about a succeeding season when the current one hasn't even matriculated yet, it is New York and it comes with the territory of being one of the most publicized teams in professional sports. While the anticipation of second baseman Robinson Cano's venture into free agency has garnered the most attention, another key member of the Yankees offensive onslaught will also hit the market following 2013.
Center fielder Curtis Granderson is coming off of back-to-back 40-plus home run seasons in 2011 and 2012, which also included consecutive All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger Award in 2011. Furthermore, it's no secret that Granderson's left-handed stroke has acclimated nicely to the friendly confines of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
However, an eye-opening 195 strikeouts last season, including 16 in the post-season and a putrid .100 batting average in post-season play, must not be forgotten. Moreover, with eroding defensive play, to the point that a position swap with left fielder Brett Gardner has yet to be officially ruled out, it's hard to speculate Granderson's future in pinstripes past this season. As per Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, and echoing a sentiment similar to Cano, Granderson is staying in the moment,
"I would love to play with the Yankees next year," Granderson said in the clubhouse at The Boss after Tuesday's workout. "It's been great. I've enjoyed my time here, and if the opportunity presents itself I would love to remain." But, he added, "It's out of my hands. All I can control is getting myself ready for the season and hopefully help this team win a championship."
While Granderson is one of the true class acts in the game and is a respected member of the Yankee clubhouse, his consecutive seasons of outstanding home run numbers should not overshadow a decreasing batting average and an increased propensity to strike out.
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