Mets, Curtis Granderson talks intensify

NEW YORK -- Talks between the New York Mets and Curtis Granderson's representatives intensified late Tuesday, and a source familiar with the negotiations told the organization is negotiating to land the free-agent outfielder on a three-year deal.

A second source said late Tuesday night that the sides are talking, but nothing is imminent.

The Mets may ultimately concede and guarantee a fourth year in order to reel in the outfielder, a source said.

Granderson, who turns 33 in March, said Tuesday on a conference call regarding the players' union that he met Sunday with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. That has been described as more of an introductory meeting, though, so talks have escalated quickly.

"We ate a nice meal, and it was great to enjoy some salmon," Granderson said.

Granderson would provide a second power infusion to the Mets' outfield, which desperately needed a power upgrade. The Mets signed former Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million deal last week. Last season, the Mets ranked 11th in the National League overall in homers. They surrendered 22 more long balls than they produced.

Granderson, meanwhile, slugged 41 homers in 2011 and 43 homers in 2012 with the New York Yankees, albeit with a more homer-friendly home ballpark in the Bronx. A broken forearm during spring training and a pinkie suffered during the season limited Granderson to 245 plate appearances in 2013.

The Mets desperately need to balance their lineup with a lefty bat such as Granderson's.

Currently, the projected lineup includes righty bats David Wright, Chris Young, Travis d'Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada, plus lefty-hitting Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda or Ike Davis. There also is switch-hitter Eric Young Jr.

The Mets had a .441 winning percentage against right-handed starters and .490 winning percentage against left-handed starters last season. Granderson would become, by far, the largest contract awarded by Alderson in four offseasons as GM. The current distinction belongs to former closer Frank Francisco, who received a now-expired two-year, $12 million deal during the 2011-12 offseason.

Granderson is a natural center fielder. It would appear, should the Mets complete the deal, that Granderson would play left field, with Lagares in center and Chris Young in right field. That potentially would free up Eric Young Jr. to man second base should the Mets trade Murphy.