Robinson Cano is the Yankees’ top free agent, but Curtis Granderson is also looking forward to entering that process for the first time this offseason.
Granderson is playing the last games of a five-year contract that he signed with the Tigers before the 2008 season. While Granderson is not unfamiliar with contract negotiations, the process of brokering a free-agent deal remains somewhat mysterious to the 32-year-old.
“I don’t know because I’ve never done it before. If I had a chance to do it one way, where you go through one [process], and have this and compare, then I’d be able to better address that. But unfortunately, since this is the first time I’m getting a chance to do it, I’m not too sure how it’s going to end up playing out.”
Even with the enjoyment of New York in his mind, Granderson still looks forward to free agency.
“You get an opportunity to see if there is other interest out there,” he said. “You get a chance to make a decision finally for the first time in your professional career in terms of where you might want to go play. You can take your time and decide certain things.
“Even when get drafted, you got no control. I thought I was going to get drafted by Oakland and that didn’t happen and now with Detroit I got no other place to go and I’m under control until they decide to do something with me, which happened in [the] 2009 offseason. So now [it is] the same thing. There’s no control until this and now finally for the first time you get an opportunity to decide what it is that you want to do.”
One of the options that might be presented to Granderson is a qualifying offer.
Granderson currently makes $15 million so based on the fact that Wednesday was the 57th game he has appeared in due to two hand injuries, the Yankees might offer him slightly less.
Granderson said he wasn’t too sure about if he’d take one but he would consider it.
Teams have until five days after the World Series ends to make an offer and a player has seven days to accept it. If another team signs someone that declined a qualifying offer, a first-round draft pick is forfeited while the former team of that player would get a compensation selection at the end of the opening round.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland is a noted fan from when Collins coached on the Pirate teams that won the NL East three straight times in the early 1990s.
Another fan of Collins is another former co-worker — Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
Maddon’s connection to Terry Collins dates back over a decade from their days in the dugout for the Angels. Maddon spent three seasons alongside Collins as the team won 84, 85 and 70 games.
“He didn’t know me from Adam and he permitted to continue to work with the Angels back in the 1997 and I’ll always be indebted to him for that particular moment,” Maddon said. “And beyond that when I coached with him he gave me a lot of latitude, permitted me to be his coach and do my job. He’s got a great sense of humor and we became very good friends and I’m very happy for his success and I’m glad it’s working out well.”
Maddon wound up succeeding Collins in 1999 for the final 29 games and then remained on Mike Scioscia’s staff before taking over in Tampa Bay in 2006.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.