LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Last week, three-time All-Star Curtis Granderson moved from the Yankees to the crosstown rival Mets with a four year, $60 million deal. At a press conference at the Swan and Dolphin Resort, the site of this year’s Winter Meetings, the Mets and General Manager Sandy Alderson formally introduced Granderson as the newest member of the Amazins.
Here are a few more highlights from today’s press conference, which included the traditional “smile and put the cap and jersey on in front of the cameras” fanfare. Granderson definitely brought his smile “A-game” to the podium. I confess it was a bit odd to see him donning the Mets striped jersey instead of the Yankees pinstripes he wore for the past three seasons in the Bronx, but that’s baseball. The 32-year old outfielder took no time digging at Yankee fans, saying he’s heard that “true New Yorkers are Mets fans.” Ouch.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson on Granderson:
Curtis' professional record, I think, is well known to many. He's a winner, number one, and not only a class professional, but a class individual. We're very fortunate to have him with us, and we think that he will bring an added dimension to us. We're looking forward to having him with us over the next several years, and I think that he and others will lead us to some great success over those years.
On Mets’ captain David Wright helping to recruit him crosstown:
[David] was actually one of the first people to contact me via text before we even got to the negotiation part with the Mets. He was one of the first people to congratulate me. I got a chance to play against David in the Florida State League in 2003, and ever since then we've always had a relationship from afar. But whenever we get a chance to talk to each other, the conversation is like we've known each other our whole career. I'm really excited to get a chance to play with him. And now I just found out we've been living right next door to each other. So that will hopefully remain or be relatively close to that and we'll be on the field together going out and winning baseball games.
On staying in New York and continuing to contribute to the community:
The big thing with New York is, as you mentioned, the community part of it has been amazing with my Grand Kids Foundation being established and getting a chance to grow in New York. What better way to continue to grow than the best place possible in New York. Doing things with the kids in the community, baseball, and what better place to do that than with the New York Mets. It's absolutely amazing. I'm excited about playing there, continuing to grow there, and continuing to grow the foundation as well.
On adjusting to Citi Field:
It's 30 ballparks and all of them are different in their own way. They all have pros and cons no matter what it happens to be. I'm looking forward to getting out there, and one, playing defense, two, hitting the baseball, seeing where it's going to bounce around, getting a chance to run and seeing some great fans come out there. A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans. So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there.
On why the Mets are the right fit:
There was a lot of homework that was going to be involved in the process, I said that from day one. I'm a very analytical person and I looked at a bunch of different things. The fact that Sandy Alderson met us down in San Diego and we had a chance to have dinner and have some very yummy salmon, which was very amazing, kick-started a lot of those things. Lot of the conversations and phone calls. David Wright reaching out to me, and just the organization as a whole from top to bottom, there are some amazing things throughout this organization that I'm really excited to be a part of.
I wanted to play as long as I could, and to get a chance to be with such a great organization like the Mets for as long as possible was amazing. So the fact that a fourth year was on the table, I was overly excited about that. It showed their commitment in myself and what I wanted to give back to them in the fact that a plan can be in place and can be executed over the duration of the contract.
On choosing to wear number 3 with the Mets:
It was my birth month. So born in the month of March, again, mom and dad very important in that decision making process. And when given all the opportunities and all the options that were available, they said go with number 3. They pulled up a couple different images to see what it looked like. I like it. It's the first single digit I've ever had. Excited to have it. I feel like some of the other ones I'm not physically big enough to wear. So the fact that number 3 is good, I'm a little guy, so it all worked out.
On conversations with the Yankees:
There were conversations right away about the way they were considering things, but they were open with me. They said, “Hey, we have a couple other options we're considering.” I said I completely understand. We're also doing the exact same thing. I understand business is business. Depending on which way they wanted to go, which they decided to do, they made those options to do so. I'm glad again the Mets were there constantly on me and pushing and showing the interest. You want to go where you're needed and wanted, and the Mets definitely wanted me, and I'm excited to be here.
Amanda Rykoff will be covering the Winter Meetings this week for The Outside Corner. Follow @amandarykoff for Twitter updates.