Are the Dodgers Headed for a Reunion with Yasmani Grandal?

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(Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

As fans of the Dodgers continue to sit and wait for news of any signings or trades the team might be making, one can’t help still wonder who will be behind the plate for the majority of the 2019 season.

As it sits right now, the catcher position has Austin Barnes, and that’s it. Unless you count Rocky Gale. The other catcher (If we could’ve called him that) on the 40-man roster was Kyle Farmer, and he was involved in the trade that sent Yasiel Puig to Cincinnati. Barnes appeared in 100 games last season for the Dodgers, slashing a mere .205/.329/.290/.619 and four homers. He only had two hits in 30 at bats in the postseason.

So we all know that Barnes would need to replicate his 2017 campaign, where he went .289/.408/.486/.895 to be a suitable every day backstop. He also has not started the majority of a season yet in his career.

The main circumstance that makes being a Dodger catcher unique is that the team is just in a holding pattern until Kiebert Ruiz, now the Dodgers’ number one prospect, is ready to take over behind the plate, presumably in 2020. There aren’t too many catchers who would want to sign for that little bit of time.

On the trade side, the Dodgers have been in talks with the Miami Marlins for J.T. Realmuto, but the asking price from Derek Jeter and Company still remains very high, as they are asking for Cody Bellinger and a prospect(s) in return. The Dodgers have also been rumored to be in talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates about Francisco Cervelli and are most likely checking in on others as well.

In the meantime, the offers and landing places for Yasmani Grandal are slipping away. He turned down a one year, $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers to head out into free agency. Yaz also reportedly turned down a four-year, $60 million offer from the Mets. He was also reportedly involved in talks with the Angels, who just signed Jonathan Lucroy to a one-year deal. The Mets ended up signing Wilson Ramos, and the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays have all filled their catching deficiencies. Of the teams that still may need a catcher, either they aren’t in the market to pay what Grandal is requesting, or it would be a one year deal, like returning to the Dodgers.

Grandal has a projected WAR of 3.6 next season, which is exactly the same as Realmuto. According to Fangraphs, that would move the Dodgers up to a tie for second in the majors for that position if they were to re-sign him, as opposed to 22nd.

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Dodger fans mostly remember Grandal’s abysmal performances in the last two World Series runs, and with good reason. His defense was atrocious. But when Grandal is on, he is on. He can easily hit well over .400 for a month with five or six homers. That is the catch with Grandal—he is incredibly streaky. You just have to hope the hit streaks come at the right time.

A return to the Dodgers makes sense for both sides. It fills in the year gap that the Dodgers have currently, without losing any players they may want to keep, and it gives Grandal a year to reset and get himself ready for free agency again. The Dodgers have the ability to wait this out, as well as the slow moving market as a whole. And wait they will, planning and calculating moves. Whether Grandal is one of these moves remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

 

37 thoughts on “Are the Dodgers Headed for a Reunion with Yasmani Grandal?

  1. Question is does Grandal have too much pride to take a 1 year 10-12 million offer when he turned down 17 mil? I just can’t see AF offering anywhere near 17 mil.

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  2. If Yaz is smart he will take a 1 year deal and come back next year in free agency when he doesn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

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  3. I think Friedman would happily give Yaz the $17.9 for one year still. He gets the best of both worlds. He has a top catcher for the 2019 season but the freedom to move on after and go with a younger, cheaper option beyond next year. Yaz gets a huge payday for lbs year and the ability to cash in next year on a multi year deal in a thincat hint market while he’s still young. This is a win-win to me.

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  4. Its a bit silly to continue to say we need someone for one year expecting Ruiz to be here in 2020. I’ve never heard anyone except writers and fans who expect him in the next 2 years. He may be ready in 2021 but don’t hold your breath. He’s a prospect, he’s young and he’s a catcher, a tough position for a rookie. Catchers tend to struggle and most seem to fail in the end. If he’s here in 3 years good for us but don’t rush him.

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  5. But I think Smith could be ready next year. And if not pick up another vet next year and who knows Barnes may bounce back this year. But I’d take Grandal back on a one year deal

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  6. Please no. Yeah, he is a great framer, but he is terrible at blocking pitches in the dirt and if I have to see him kill another rally with a strikeout or a double play I will scream. The guy is about as clutch as a dead rat. Oh yeah, he is streaky as they come and he will hit some dingers. And come September when they really need him he will fold like a wet taco. Ruiz will be the AA starter this year, so he is at least 1 1/2 to 2 years away. He is also now the Dodgers #1 prospect. The have taken that tag off of Verdugo. Miami still insists on Bellinger in any deal. Not happening.

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  7. Alec said if Yaz is smart. Never thought that his light bulb was too bright anyway. But a reunion with Grandal is more likely at this point than A union with Harper. Nats have jumped back into the fray. It is also looking like the only real deal Machado is getting is from the White Sox. Tulo is considered the regular SS until Didi is ready.

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    1. Harper isn’t happening. It’s just not. LA is staying under the tax line this year and that is now blatantly obvious. Offer Yaz a good value 1 year deal and go sign DJ LeMahieu for 2/$18. Start Verdugo in RF and let’s see where we are come July. Best case Verdugo turns into a more athletic Andre Ethier that is an on base machine. He may never be a star but he can be a very good starter for years.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I wonder how much longer they plan to keep Andrew Toles in AAA for also. He’s proven at pretty much any place he’s played including the big leagues that he is a .300 hitter with good speed and a big arm in the outfield. If he’s not our 4th or 5th OF on opening day I hope they trade him somewhere he can get playing time because he is ready to be a big league mainstay somewhere.

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  9. What a colossal blunder Yaz, and his management team made by not taking he Mets deal. Right now he would be lucky to get the Ramos deal from some team, if he comes back to the dodgers it will be for a lot less than the QO, when players end up back with their old teams it usually is at quite a discount.
    With the nats jumping back into the Harper mix, I think that puts the dodgers as a long shot to sign him, it looks like Andrew was hoping harpers deal would come back down to something Andrew was more comfortable with. Now that old man Lerner, and Boras are talking it looks like that’s where he’ll end up. That said what do we do now that we’ve traded away a bunch of our outfield production?

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    1. It’s time to sacrifice some power for on base ability. This is why I’m all in committed to LeMahieu. Put him atop the lineup and you will have a consistent guy on base for the big boppers. After him you could go with Seager but I really want him hitting 3rd so Turner can hit cleanup with Bellinger 5th to give J.T. protection so my choice would be to put Verdugo 2nd.
      1. LeMahieu
      2. Verdugo
      3. Seager
      4. Turner
      5. Bellinger
      6. Muncy (Freese against lefties)
      7. Joc (Kike or Taylor against lefties)
      8. Barnes
      9. Pitcher

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      1. I just plugged that lineup into my computer and using the Farhandy Zaidman Optimizing Wins Algorithmic Program (FAZOWAP) it spit out 86 wins and second place in the West.

        Just checked LaMahieu’s stats in West ballparks. He hits very well everywhere but LA – career .588 OPS. But then, it might be because of Dodger pitching. Maybe if he isn’t facing studs like Cingrani and Quackenbush he hits better in LA.

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      2. Actually Cingrani pitched very well for us in 2017 and was hurt for a good part of 2018 so I don’t think you can put him in the same disparaging sentence as Quackenbush. As a fellow southpaw I felt I should stick up for him. And for that matter, name one game that we’ve lost because Quackenbush pitched badly for us. (I like the underdogs. It’s really easy to be a Buehler fan).

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  10. Toles has had an added problem of being somewhat injury prone the last couple of years. He made the team, and was pretty much playing every day and hurt his leg. Long re=hab on that, and then again last year at AAA he had problems. Might be a little too fragile for regular duty.

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  11. Maybe Grandal didn’t want to play in New York. It’s true players usually take the money, even when it means they play someplace they don’t much care for and don’t have a chance to win. Making a few extra million is a win. But sometimes they hold out to play where they would rather play. Grandal is from Florida. Maybe he is holding out to see if Realmuto is traded then he will sign with Miami for a home team discount. Maybe he will sign for less with Tampa. They don’t have a catcher like him. Do I believe any of that? Not really. But I do believe he will play somewhere and I don’t think it will be here.

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    1. Later information indicates that the Mets may have never actually offered that contract to Grandal but that they did talk about something like that. Maybe it was the Mets who decided to go in the other direction.

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  12. It will be interesting to see what Miami does with Realmuto. If they keep up their unrealistic demands because they got hosed last year with their fire sale and hold on to him to begin the season. Or if they cave at the end of winter and take the best offer. Then maybe a package of Pederson, May, Smith and another mid prospect could get it done

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    1. I think I would keep him. His minor league numbers look similar to Ethier’s. .309/.367/.444 to .312/..384/.452. At the same age Ethier wasn’t really a power hitter, hitting 18 at age 23 in combined AA-AAA. Verdugo hit 10 at age 22 in AAA, in far fewer at bats. He could be an everyday potential All Star with outstanding defensive tools. If he gets traded it had better be for somebody very good. As of this moment he’s penciled in starting in right field. We could save a lot of money by not signing Harper and just going with Verdugo. He won’t put up the oWAR Harper will, but he will hit and play much better defense.

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  13. Bear , if you remember he crashed into a fence trying to save a no hitter late in the game, that’s not exactly being injury prone when you sacrifice yourself for your pitcher. Somebody help me out, I can’t remember which pitcher it was that was throwing the no hitter.

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    1. Yeah he did. And he spent the rest of the year on the DL. He did not show the same speed when spring rolled around, but that was somewhat expected. When he was finally ready to go at AAA, he played a couple of weeks and then was injured. That injury lingered and lingered. He finally started playing again, He has played in 100 games or more twice in his career. He has less than 100 games played in the majors and under 240 at bats. He has talent, that is obvious, and nobody really knows what he is capable of as a major league player. He has too small a sample size to gauge how good or bad he could be. And, once you start having leg problems, they can become chronic, and it was his leg that put him on the DL again last year. He stole 1 base with the Dodgers and 3 at OKC. That from a player who was almost always in double figures and who one time stole over 60. Without his speed, and it has not shown so far, he is not that huge an asset. His speed is what put him apart from guys like Pederson. Now, maybe this spring that speed has returned, and maybe this spring he hits .400 or some other outrageous number. But as of today, he is an inexperienced 4th outfielder. With some decent skills. By the way, Kemp crashing into the wall at Coors field in 2012 when he was probably the best hitter on the planet, that led to chronic injuries which sapped his speed and diminished his power for over a year. Injuries happen. But one can become a chronic thing. Look how long Pujols has been having trouble with his feet. Same thing happened to McGwire.

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  14. Not that anyone cares, but I’ve decided I don’t want us to sign Harper and I hope the Nats do. That would probably make it difficult for them to re-sign Rendon next year and I’d like to think about going after him. Next year’s free agent class is really something. Among the guys who will be available are: Goldschmidt, Gennett, Bogaerts, Gregorius, Arenado, Donaldson, Rendon, Ozuna, JD Martinez (opt out which he will certainly do), Castellanos, Puig (in case we have sellers remorse), Bumgarner, Cole, Strasburg (opt out which he will probably do), Verlander, Sale, Betances, Pressly (was spectacular at Houston after the trade), Will Smith (the reliever, not the catcher) and Watson (opt out which he will probably do). Save some money for next year and fill that outfield hole with someone else who won’t cost 35 mil/year.

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    1. I think I’m leaning that way too Jefe. Logic told me that was the plan. The trade with Cincinnati screamed it. But so far ,,,, nope. And as I said earlier, Verdugo looks like he could be the second come of Ethier so why not spend the money elsewhere and put Alex out there? The longer the Harper pedicabo éam expecto goes on (I made that up… means extended period of negotiation time causing those awaiting results to lose interest) the less I’m interested in having him here.

      Hey we’re favored to get there again. Pick up a second catcher, sign DJ LaWhocares and save a few million for a deadline move. Then this time next year we can experience this expecto facto all over again.

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  15. Nats right now are back as the front runners to sign him and the twitter gang are all so frustrated that he is not already a Dodger. Some guy on there said offer him 5 years 200 million. 40 million a year?? For one guy?? Insane. They also do not seem to realize that the Dodgers have other needs and paying Harper that much money sends them over the CBT and ownership does not want that. I do not think that those people realize that something like that is not on Friedman alone. Any contract has to be approved by Guggenheim. And I am sure that they would choke on their sushi before giving a contract that large to ANY player.

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    1. Is that sushi trout? Cuz I think they would pay him that kind of money. But, not Harper. If the Nats want him that badly then adios and bonam fortunami Bryce. The Nats can win the East. They are currently rated the 6th best team in the Majors with 91-71 record forecasted. Add Harper and his 4.9 projected WAR and they may pass us as NL favorites. It’s a good move for Washington. What say you Andrew?

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      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rizzo and Mark Lerner were ready to wave good-bye to Bryce but then Boras got ahold of the old man and there seems to be a kind of Svengali relationship there. He can talk him into anything. They have three very good outfielders without Harper and could definitely find a better way to spend that money in my opinion, but it’s their team.

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  16. If it were Trout, they would definitely pay the money. Trout is a legitimate 5 tool player. Maybe Ol Andy is waiting for next years crop when he has some more wiggle room salary wise. Hill will be gone. Close to 19 million frees up then. Arenado, and Goldy, Go for it.

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    1. Well, it kinda makes sense to wait on those 2…. but for the impending decline of past 30 WAR. Goldschmidt will be 33 and Arenado 30. The Aging Curve at Fangraphs is clear, it begins by age 30. If at all possible you really do want to get players locked up long term in their most productive years – and that is 23-29. Now it’s absolutely possible guys like Goldy and Arenado will be productive to age 35, but look no further than Albert Pujols for precedent – age 23-30 he averaged over 8 WAR. It’s been downhill ever since. Miguel Cabrera is another example, though not as extreme. If we are ok with 3-4 WAR for the first couple of years, then the imminent fall…. ok, sign ‘em up. Arenado is the better risk because of his position. As has been posted here numerous times, first base does not yield much dWAR. If you still don’t believe that, look at the career dWAR numbers of Goldchmidt and Arenado.

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