Although Curtis Granderson may not have known it, his 2017 season was a journey involving a complete change of scenery. He would go on to finish the 2017 campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but began the season in a town that truly appreciated his contributions.
While first meeting the New York faithful during his stint with the New York Yankees, he would go on to join the New York Mets for four seasons. He began the season with the Mets, providing his usual stellar defense and hard-swinging approach at the plate. After four and half months playing at Citi Field, Granderson would be traded mid-August to the Dodgers to contribute to a contending team.
The 14-year veteran made an immediate impact on his new club, introducing himself with two home runs in his first three games with Los Angeles. The positive start was what Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi had hoped for, giving manager Dave Roberts another tool to fiddle with in the outfield.
Granderson was highly respected around the league as a true professional, putting the team’s needs first and plugging in wherever called upon. The culture shock turned into an immediate one for him, leaving the injury-riddled Mets for a team in the midst of a soon-to-be World Series run.
Unfortunately for the Silver Slugger Award winner, his time with the Dodgers turned into a battle as it got closer to the postseason. While receiving many starts when he was first on the Dodgers, he saw his playing time decrease and eventually shared a platoon role in left field with Kiké Hernandez.
The Dodgers had to weigh their options heading into the postseason, with the ultimate roster cuts that come following the 40-man expansion in September. Alas, the 36-year-old would go on to make the National League Divisional Series roster, with Roberts hoping his experience could provide some clutch at-bats.
Time would tell, as Granderson would go 1-for-8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a run and four strikeouts. Roberts would then give him a chance to make amends in the National League Championship Series, but he would finish the series going 0-for-7, with his last appearance in Game 4 ending with four strikeouts.
Granderson would be left off the World Series roster for the Dodgers, which ended in heartbreaking fashion with their Game 7 loss. The 2002 draftee finished his time with the Dodgers with a dismal .161/.288/.366 slashline, smashing his way to seven home runs, two doubles, and 12 RBIs.
Granderson’s highlight during his short tenure with the Dodgers came on Aug. 21, in a matchup at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In just his third game with the Dodgers, he was able to provide a huge impact that would turn around the momentum of what would go on to be a 12-inning contest.
In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers would step up to the plate facing Gerrit Cole down 3-0. A Corey Seager RBI single cut the Pirates lead down to two runs, with Granderson stepping to the plate with the bases loaded. He then promptly crushed the fourth pitch of the at-bat for a grand slam to deep right-center, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead.
Many were speculating that Granderson would retire following his sub-par ending to the season, showing signs of mental and physical fatigue throughout a long season. However, it seems as though the three-time All-Star is planning on giving 2018 a try, hoping to land in a beneficial situation.
2017 marked the end of his four-year contract he signed with the Mets in 2014, meaning he enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. Granderson will draw attention from plenty of teams that could use a veteran presence, although most likely having to settle for a diminished role.