Yasmani Grandal has been one of the better outcomes of the Matt Kemp trade, but the Dodgers might need to trade him soon.
When Matt Kemp was traded away in late 2014 for a bunch of people I had never heard of, it was hard to take. I grew up in a time where Kemp had peaked to his top performance level while I was in high school. I always tried my best to mirror his playing style, down to his lackadaisical defense. Naturally, the trade that sent him down to San Diego was devastating.
I had no idea at the time who Yasmani Grandal was, or even why he was needed. I thought to myself; there’s no way he can be as good as a Russell Martin or a Paul Lo Duca, some of my all-time favorite Dodger backstops. And just as I thought, Grandal didn’t impress me in his first season in Dodger blue. He hit around a .230 mark with 16 home runs, but his first-half explosion did earn him an all-star selection.
Since that late-season collapse, Grandal has been a steady and consistent player behind the dish. Everyone knows he’s up among the league’s best in pitch framing, and his power has been exceptional the past two seasons. Between 2016 and 2017, Grandal hit right around his career average and had 49 home runs. Not exceptional fantastic, but good when you consider his plus defense.
More from Dodgers Way
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Are the Dodgers really prepared to hand Shohei Ohtani a blank check?
- Dodgers fans shouldn’t dismiss interest in Dansby Swanson for this reason
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
And now comes the tough decision. The Dodgers have three great catchers in their system. Austin Barnes is certainly the catcher of the near future, with Kyle Farmer likely backing him up in 2018. And the Dodgers also have Keibert Ruiz as well as Will Smith waiting in the minors. Both of those guys appear to be on track for major league ready sooner rather than later. Barnes will almost certainly fill the void until they arrive, and then he could see more time in the infield.
The short answer solution to Grandal is to trade him. As soon as humanly possible. Grandal is going to be a free agent after 2018, and he’s slated to earn a pretty decent payday if he stays healthy. His solid defense and decent power are going to be attractive to a lot of teams missing a decent catcher. While he was a big part of the Dodgers’ playoff run, he was virtually nonexistent in the playoffs. Los Angeles simply doesn’t need him anymore. So who might take him?
Well, the Nationals are one team that could use an upgrade at catcher. They’ve certainly dug themselves quite a hole with the terrible Matt Wieters signing. The Brewers have a ton of catching options, but even they could use an upgrade to stay in contention. Regardless, the Dodgers could get a decent piece out of a Grandal trade. Whether it be a top 10 prospect or a decent bullpen arm, it makes too much sense to keep him on.