To make room for Granderson on baseball’s deepest roster, the Dodgers optioned former All-Star CF Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Pederson is hitting just .215 at the big-league level with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 87 games.
Granderson found out about the trade after the Mets’ rain-delayed loss against the Marlins on Friday, making for a hectic few hours before Los Angeles’ mid-afternoon start Saturday in Detroit, where he broke into the majors in 2006.
“Last night I’m with the Mets in the blue and orange,” Granderson said. “Now I’m clear across the country wearing the blue and white of the Dodgers. I get a chance to be with an organization I’ve watched a lot and played against a lot. I know a lot of the guys, and I’m happy to go out there and be with them.”
Pederson started Friday night’s game in Detroit, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double during the Dodgers’ 8-5 win over the Tigers. He featured a new, slightly more crouched batting stance, a work in progress that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hopes Pederson can fine-tune in the minors.
“[Joc] being optioned to Oklahoma City gives him a chance to reset,” Roberts said. “I have no doubt that he’ll come back here and help us win a lot of baseball games and get to our ultimate goal. But I think where he’s at right now with a swing change, trying to get some consistency, in a major league setting, it’s really hard to perform without looking at the scoreboard and looking at your average.”
Granderson split time between center and left fields for New York, but Roberts said he expects to use him primarily on the corners, while Chris Taylor will continue to draw the most time in center.
“Curtis Granderson is a huge addition, a real coup for us,” Roberts said. “Fits in with what we already have. He’s a consummate professional. He’s been on the big stage. For his ability to come in and hit right-handed pitching and play anywhere in the outfield, potentially come off the bench if we need that, it enhances our ballclub.”
Granderson was penciled at No. 5 in Roberts’ lineup for Saturday’s game. He has primarily been a leadoff hitter during his 14-year career but says now that he’s joining a team with a chance to set baseball’s all-time record for regular-season wins, he’s happy to do whatever is asked of him.
“Anywhere in the outfield,” Granderson said. “I just said I’d go wherever they need me to go. I said if they need a shortstop, I played that in high school. It’s been a long time, so I doubt I go there. Anywhere they need me.”