Curtis Granderson no longer falls in the “it’s just money” category Rick Hahn used to sway White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf on the Jose Abreu deal. Multiple media reports have confirmed Monday that Granderson, who becomes a free agent at midnight on Tuesday, has received a qualifying offer from the New York Yankees.
Because the Yankees extended Granderson the option -- a one-year, $14.1 million deal -- any club that wants him must forfeit a first-round pick in the 2014 amateur draft in order to sign the outfielder.
The White Sox wouldn’t have to surrender their first-round pick in the 2014 draft (No. 3 overall), which is protected along with the other top 11 selections. But the club would have to give away its second-round pick. While a qualifying offer doesn’t entirely rule out the White Sox from signing a free agent who has one, it severely reduces the likelihood of such a scenario.
Hahn has been adamant for the past few months that the White Sox want to replenish their farm system through the draft and international spending while also looking for a quick turnaround after a 99-loss season. The team figures to spend roughly $14 million combined in the amateur and international market next season, which Hahn said will account for as part of the payroll.
One of the perks of signing Abreu, who received a six-year, $68-million deal last week, is that unlike Granderson he doesn’t require the forfeiture of a pick or additional players if he was acquired in a trade.
“I actually caught myself saying to Jerry, ‘you know it's just money,’ which I then had to catch myself and quickly expand upon,” Hahn said last week. “By that I meant we aren't giving up a draft pick. We aren't giving up players in addition to money. What we're doing here is reallocating resources we cleared off last summer and devoting them to something we felt was the long-term benefit.”
Last month, a Sun-Times report suggested the White Sox would have strong interest in Granderson, who selected by Detroit in the third round of the 2002 draft out of the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Prior to 2013 when he was limited to 61 games because of injury, Granderson hit 43 and 41 home runs in the previous two seasons. The outfielder’s left-handed bat would be a strong addition to an offense that ranked last in runs in the American League last season.
Since he’s already 32, the White Sox wouldn’t likely have long-term interest in Granderson for fear he’d slow down in the later stages of any contract. Hahn has said he wants players who can impact the team next season and in the long run.