When Curtis Granderson signed with the Mets before the 2014 season, the team was bereft of pillars. For the Mets’ official yearbook that year, Granderson and David Wright were alone on the cover, sitting on a staircase, the only two stars in a lineup in the middle of a rebuild.
In his nearly four seasons with the Mets, Granderson was a leader on offense and in the clubhouse, helping the club rocket toward the top of the National League, with back-to-back postseason appearances in 2015 and 2016, the first of which did not end until the World Series.
But with this year’s team hampered by injuries and with a roster of veterans in the final year of their contracts, the Mets ended Granderson’s tenure with the team early Saturday when they traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets sent cash along with Granderson and will receive either a player to be named later or cash in return.
“A great four years here with the Mets organization,” Granderson said while standing at his locker after the Mets’ loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Granderson heads to a team with the best record in the major leagues, one looking to capture its first World Series title since 1988. Less than 12 hours after Granderson was traded, another N.L. contender, the Chicago Cubs, claimed Mets catcher Rene Rivera off waivers. Known for his defensive acumen, Rivera, 34, was a valuable reserve in his two seasons with the Mets, becoming Noah Syndergaard’s preferred catcher.
Granderson, 36, called the trade “bittersweet,” because his time with the Mets was ending earlier than he had expected, and in a season in which the team failed to build off its previous success.
“I was excited looking forward to the rest of this season,” Granderson said. “Obviously, it wasn’t the way that we intended it to go from spring training to now, but for the final five, six, seven, eight weeks of the season, I was planning on being here in the blue and orange and going out there and battling every night with these guys here in this clubhouse.”
Speaking for six minutes, Granderson praised the Mets organization, displaying the cordiality that had endeared him to his teammates and his manager.
“He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever had around, ever been around,” Manager Terry Collins said Saturday evening before the Mets beat the Marlins, 8-1, “and we’ll miss him.”