Who Starts at Catcher for the Dodgers in 2019?
With the likely departure of Yasmani Grandal, the Dodgers are left with a ton of catching prospects but none of them figure to be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season. The Dodgers currently have Austin Barnes penciled in as their starting catcher although his bat failed miserably in 2018. Still, it was only a season ago where Barnes took over for Grandal and looked like a top ten catcher in baseball.
The Dodgers could choose to begin the season with Barnes and upgrade later on if necessary. Will Smith is the closest catching prospect to being big league ready but the Dodgers will likely sign at least another catcher who can backup Barnes. Then there is also the all-star catcher that is on the trading block in J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins asking price is high but that could come down after the Marlins realize what his true trade price is.
The Dodgers have shown interest in Martin Maldonado and are sure to show interest in several other free agent and trade options during the winter meetings. While catcher is a premium defensive position, the Dodgers need to make sure they have two quality defensive catchers in 2019. Barnes is one, but they still need one more.