Dodgers: Examining Yasmani Grandal’s Free Agent Market
The Dodgers’ catcher situation reminds murky as the winter meetings approach. Could Yasmani Grandal find his way back to LA?
The Dodgers will head to the winter meetings on Sunday with several items on their to do list. One of those items is sure to be figuring out the catching situation for the 2019 season. While the Dodgers have Austin Barnes who could be a starting option, they would still need to find a backup unless they give Rocky Gale or Will Smith a shot to be the backup catcher.
It seems unlikely that the Dodgers would enter the season with Barnes and Gale/Smith as the backup just because that is a lot of uncertainty at one of the most key positions in baseball. One option that cannot be ruled out is the return of Yasmani Grandal. If the Dodgers could get Grandal to agree to a one or two year deal then that is something the club should have no problem doing.
When the free agency period started, many experts predicted that Yasmani Grandal would get a lucrative three or four year deal. While there is still a big chance that could happen, his market has been slow to develop. The Rangers were one team looking to sign a catcher and went with Jeff Mathis on a two year deal.
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The Astros were looking to fill the void left by Brian McCann’s departure and are close to signing Robinson Chirinos for just over five million dollars. It is highly unlikely the Astros are paying Chirinos that type of cash to be a backup. That eliminates the Rangers, Braves, and Astros as potential suitors for Yasmani. The Red Sox could have interest in Grandal but after winning a World Series with Leon and Vasquez, they will likely use their money to rebuild their bullpen.
The Phillies, White Sox, and Yankees are the three other teams who have some serious cash to spend this winter. The Yankees have Gary Sanchez and the White Sox are already paying Welington Castillo seven million dollars in 2019. The Phillies could emerge as a suitor to keep Wilson Ramos or sign Yasmani Grandal but for now they are going hard after the two biggest fish, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.
The Nationals were another Grandal suitor but not anymore after signing Kurt Suzuki and trading for Yan Gomes. Even with catching at a premium, it’s been a slow developing market for Yasmani Grandal and perhaps a team like the Angels or Mets could offer him the deal he is looking for. The fact that Wilson Ramos is still a free agent means Grandal still has competition left on the market.
The Dodgers best option at catcher for 2019 is still Yasmani Grandal without Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith ready for the starting role. There is still a ways to go until Grandal settles for a one year deal in LA but the longer he sits out there, the better the chance he tries to boost his value after a disappointing end to the season in 2018.