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MLB WINTER MEETINGS


December 10, 2013


Curtis Granderson


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everybody, for coming, and without further adieu I'll turn it over to Sandy Alderson.
SANDY ALDERSON: Thank you all for being here. We're very pleased today to be able to announce that Curt Granderson is the newest member of the New York Mets. We're extraordinarily happy that Curtis is with us. Curtis' professional record, I think, is well known to many. He's a winner, No. 1, 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. So, Curtis, welcome.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: First, thank you very much. Today is an amazing day. Before I continue, my mom wanted me to say hello. So, Mom, if you're watching, hello, Mom. But this is awesome to get a chance to be here.
I'm really excited to be in the New York Mets organization. I heard a lot about them, learning a lot about them. Great chance to be with some good teammates and an organization that is very prideful, tradition, and a great city and the best market to play in. Overly excited to stay in New York and continue my career as a New York Met, and to go out there and win, and win as often as possible. Excited to start my career today as a New York Met, so thank you very much for that. And we'll continue on.

Q. Curtis, congratulations on the deal. Really, is David Wright one of the main focal points and recruiters in coming to the New York Mets?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Actually, yes. David Wright was very important in that. He 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 Wright 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.

Q. How important was it for you to try to stay in New York where you've obviously enjoyed success with the Yankees but also been an important part of the community?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: 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.

Q. Can you just tell us your thought process in deciding on the Mets and why you feel this is the right fit for you?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: 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.
Win, win, win, every possible opportunity for me, and best fit possible. My parents were overly excited about it, and obviously they had one of the big votes on that. So everybody's excited about the move here.

Q. Curtis was four years a make or break deal for you?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: It was definitely an exciting thing. 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.

Q. Is the home park‑‑ it's going to be very different. Is that something you're thinking about? Are you going to be adjusting your game at all? Is it something you thought about at all?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: No, not at all. 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.

Q. Can you tell us why you chose number 3 leaving the Yankees? Obviously you've been wearing Babe Ruth.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: 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.

Q. You accomplished a lot with the Yankees, and they've been spending a good bit of money this year. Were you surprised at all they weren't more aggressive in pursuing you to come back?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Was I surprised that they were more or not as?

Q. Not as much as the other guys?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: 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.

Q. Wanted to find out, ten years into the career now and David in that locker room as well. Can I ask what the conversation was about what the role is beyond stats, numbers and everything else, to help turn this thing?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: The big thing right now is to get things in place, understanding it's going to take 25 guys plus the 40‑man, plus the whole organization to get us to where we want to be, and that is continue to win baseball games. The fact that they were third place in the NL East means we have room to improve, but there is a lot of room where we can improve. I'm excited for that. If there's any story that can be said out there, you saw it last year with Boston going from last to first. And any team has an opportunity to go out there and win. And this organization as a whole, with the pieces they have such as David Wright and the rest of the cast out there, we have everything in place to go out there and do some amazing things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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