Curtis Granderson spent fewer than two months in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform, and he’s already a free agent. Could the Brewers bring him back for a bench role in 2019?
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Curtis Granderson on August 31st in exchange for prospect Demi Orimoloye. He only featured in 19 regular season games and seven games in the post season. Is there any chance he comes back for a bench role?
How did Granderson perform with the Brewers?
In 19 regular season appearances, Granderson racked up 54 plate appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers. He posted a .220/.407/.439 slash line with two homers, three RBIs and 12 runs scored. He also managed to walk 12 times, while only striking out 10 times.
In the post season, Granderson made seven appearances off the bench for the Brewers. He made seven plate appearances, hit one double, drove in one run, and struck out three times.
Could he return to the Brewers in 2019?
It’s possible. If the Milwaukee Brewers look to deal Eric Thames, Granderson could come back as a left-handed bat off the bench.
Granderson will turn 38 before Opening Day, but it’s clear that he still has productive at-bats still in him. He can still draw a walk, and can still hit baseballs hard off of righties. He posted a .247/.355/.444 slash line against right-handers in 2018. His .341 wOBA in 2018 was his best mark since 2015.
Thames posted similar numbers to Granderson, but he’s set to earn $6 million next year. Granderson was on a one-year deal worth $5 million last year, and there’s a non-zero chance that he gets less than that in 2019.
Isn’t he the same as Thames, only older?
Granderson and Thames are similar, and Granderson is older, but there is a key difference. Granderson can still play the outfield if needed. Thames has never been a great defender, and he probably shouldn’t play the outfield any more. That means he’s a first baseman-only in a league that doesn’t have a DH where he can hide.
Jesus Aguilar is going to see the majority of the playing time at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers for the foreseeable future. Aguilar proved that his mini-breakout in 2017 wasn’t a fluke by putting together a solid 2018 campaign. The Brewers could still use a lefty bat off the bench, but they need a player who can play the field, and doesn’t need everyday at bats to produce.
Granderson could make a lot of sense for the 2019 Milwaukee Brewers. There’s also a good chance that he makes more sense for the Brewers than Thames. Granderson could absolutely return to the Brewers in 2019, but other moves have to happen first.