Potential Fallout from Yasmani Grandal’s Deal with Brewers


While Yasmani Grandal‘s new one-year deal with the Brewers doesn’t have a direct impact on the Dodgers‘ player roster, it does indirectly check one option off the list of players who will be seeing action behind the plate in Los Angeles in 2019.

After the Dodgers had offered a Grandal a qualifying offer of $17.9 million dollars not long after the end of the 2018 season, the 30-year-old backstop ultimately settled on a pact that will pay him $18.25 million in Milwaukee. Somewhere in between, Yasmani reportedly rejected a deal from the Mets that could have netted him more than $50 million over four years.

Despite Grandal rejecting the QO, there were still rumblings as of late that the Dodgers were pitching him a short-term deal. Those rumors came after Los Angeles missed out on signing free agent Wilson Ramos, who agreed to a two-year/$19 million contract with those same Mets several weeks ago.

Seemingly, the popular choices remaining for the Dodgers have dwindled down to All-Star J.T. Realmuto via trade, along with free agents Martin Maldonado and Matt Wieters. Apparently, talks with Miami have reached a point of impasse because the Marlins will not budge from their demands of receiving Cody Bellinger plus prospect(s) in exchange for the 27-year-old Realmuto, who is still under team control for two seasons.

The reactions from fans of the Dodgers regarding Wednesday’s Grandal signing have been mixed. Many remember his blunders in the 2018 postseason, most specifically Game 1 of the NLCS when he managed to account for two errors and two passed balls, becoming the first player in MLB history to accomplish such a feat.

Consequently, there is the group of fans who saw contributions in terms of overall WAR. Last year, Grandal posted an impressive 3.6 WAR and was projected to produce a 3.1 WAR for the coming year, according to Steamer. Coincidentally, Realmuto led all MLB catchers last season with a 4.8 WAR.

As far as raw numbers go, Grandal hit .241/.349/.466 with 23 doubles, 24 long balls and 68 RBI over 140 games and 518 plate appearances for Los Angeles in 2018. He tallied 124 strikeouts last season, which was fourth on the club behind Chris Taylor (178), Cody Bellinger (151) and Max Muncy (131). Over the course of his seven-year big league career, Grandal has slashed .240/.341/.441, while logging 113 homers and 339 RBI.

Grandal is commonly recognized as one of the best pitch-framers in baseball. He has ranked among the league’s Top 5 since pitch-tracking technology was introduced by Statcast in 2015. Still, the University of Miami product has frequently been criticized for his glove work, which is often the consequence for superb pitch framing. During the 2017 season, he led the majors with 17 passed balls.

Presently, 29-year-old Austin Barnes appears to be poised to do the bulk of the catching for the Dodgers in 2019.

As a result of the Brewers signing Grandal, the Dodgers will receive an extra draft pick at the end of Competitive Balance Round B. Right now, Los Angeles also owns the 25th overall pick (first round), the 64th overall pick (second round), plus a 31st overall comp pick as a result of 2018 first-rounder J.T. Ginn going unsigned.


45 thoughts on “Potential Fallout from Yasmani Grandal’s Deal with Brewers

  1. This is getting very interesting as players are gradually coming off the board. I saw this morning that Farhan is talking with LeMahieu’s people with the idea of trading Panik and signing him. It seems as though Andrew is waiting for one decision (probably Harper’s) in order to decide how to play everything else. I’m guessing Machado signs by this weekend, Harper by next weekend and then all hell breaks loose by the end of the month.

  2. Our goal should be to sign players who can help us beat 4 games of Sale and Price ..Grandal is no help there. We have to find some lefty mashers.

    1. I see your point, but there’s no rush. Plenty of decent righty bats should be lurking come the summer trade deadlines. If the rotation stays healthy, and if Seager returns to form (I know they are pretty big “ifs) then the West should be easily winnable.

      1. I think we win the West again, but getting back to the Series won’t be easy. There are NL teams gearing up to take us down. Yeah, we are still favored because of course we are. But the Nats and Brewers are damn tired of finishing behind us. They are going to be better. So are the Cards and I never count the Cubs out.

        We’re good. But we’re not that good. I know the geeks have us at 95 wins but if we don’t at least attempt to replace what we gave away and let walk (to competing NL rivals) I’m taking the under on that number.

  3. I’m excited Barnes is finally getting his chance to shine. He’s paid his dues and he deserves it. Lots of people are going to be shocked this season.

    1. Not so fast Alex. We are still looking for a replacement for Grandal. We may not get it (3.6 WAR, it’s doubtful) but somebody else is coming in. And Barnes has played over 100 games 2 years in a row. He’s had his chance. Only 574 plate appearances, 262 and 238 the last two years, so I’m guessing he gets more than that, but I don’t believe the Dodgers consider him to be an eveday player

      1. All I’ve heard is people running down Yaz because of his defense. Well now you have a SUPERB defensive catcher with athletic ability and still it seems people are down on that too. I hate to break it to y’all, a .300 30HR catcher with gold glove defense doesn’t exist in MLB right now. Pick your poison. If people want the team to unload Verdugo plus 2 more top 10 prospects for 2 years of an overrated Realmuto then be my guest but there are better ways to upgrade and you your resources.

  4. Not trying t take the wind out of your sails Alex, but Barnes has shown he might be a good every day catcher, but he has not proven himself yet. He may do great next year, but what if he reverts to his 2018 #s not his 2017#s, what if he starts breaking down later in the season, he is a little on the smaller size for a catcher, the dodgers can’t put all there eggs in that basket, so they are going to sign a vet, and they will split time, but I think the vet will catch more games than Barnes, unless Barnes has the breakout that you’re predicting. I hope you are right I love Barnes also, but we have to hedge our bet.

  5. BTW, I’m not anxious to trade what the marlins want for Realmuto either, it will leave a huge hole in our OF, unless the team picks up another good outfielder to replace what we trade.

  6. And Realmuto doesn’t solve our problem against lefties. His splits against them is worse than Puig’s. We need to keep Verdugo and offer a lesser package if we want him or Kluber. And I agree with you Dennis we can wait till trade deadline. We don’t need some knee jerk move now just to make a move. We need playoff help and not for regular season

    1. A lot of teams making moves to get better. However, none of them are in the West. Well, that’s not exactly true. San Diego will be better, but they are still a few years out. The window is still open. But make no mistake, the best teams in other Divisions are making moves to come after us.

  7. But realistically what free agent starts on our team as a position player and makes a difference. Machado- no position for him and he certainly didn’t look like a 900+ OPS hitter in Dodger stadium. Do you really want him and his attitude as the face of the franchise. Harper- another lefty with one year under his belt worth 10-350! Does he take Sale and Price deep in the WS? And where does he play in another 5-6 years. His defensive numbers already declining at age 26! Pollack- who,knows. Another guy with one great year and he could never stay healthy even in his prime. All three of these guys are huge risks and with Harper and Machado could financially cripple our team. What other free agent out there is a difference maker for us? I don’t see one

    1. Strong argument Rich.

      Machado: I can see Turner moving to second base. He played only 103 games last year and still put up over 4 WAR. He can do that at second.

      Harper: left field. He’s projected over 4 WAR for next year. And 30 home runs plus 100 RBIs would go a long way to replace what we lost. Is he worth 10-$350M? I don’t think so. But I’m not hiring him.

      I get the arguments against Harper. And I don’t much care for Machado either, for the same reasons most don’t. But his RH prodigiousness is undeniable and his defense is stellar. Somebody is going to get it. I hope it’s somebody in the AL.

      The fact is those two will play somewhere and wherever it is the teams that get them will be made better by their presence. That’s why I’m ok with them coming here. I don’t worry about burdening payroll. We can afford it. And….if it becomes a problem, there are ways around it.

      1. First Justin Turner doesn’t have the range anymore to play 2B with his back and knee injuries. The last time the Dodgers played him at 2B was 2 years ago and he looked terribly out of place. It’s 3B or 1B for J.T. at this point. Second, Machado was never in the plans to come back to LA. I don’t think Machado or the front office wants a reunion and he won’t be worth a ridiculous contract with an iffy attitude. Third, no way Bryce Harper signs somewhere to play LF. Wherever he goes it will be to play RF like he always has. Machado will be a Phillie and Harper will end up going back to DC because they seem to be the only people stupid enough to give him 10 years. As far as I’m concerned good riddance, we can do so much more with $300 million. Save it for Arenado next year or take a run at Trout.

      2. Agree with all your points Alex, except the one about Harper not being willing to play left field. I think he would under the right circumstances. That said, I like next year’s free agents better, so now that you and I have decided we don’t want him here, I think we should start planning his Welcome to L.A. Party because as we all know life and sports often doesn’t give us what we want.

  8. According to I can’t remember who, Dodgers are now favorites for DJLM. Of course we all know that favorites don’t always win races. Giants and Rays also interested.

      1. It kinda feels like Friedman is waiting for the two big guns to sign. In the mean time useful players are being taken off the board. When the music stops, we may be without a chair. If that’s the case, I may do something I never do – actually put money down on the under 95 wins.

        Just read a thread at LADodgerReport on whether the Dodgers should act like a big market team (spend on stars), which of course they already do, just not necessarily wisely. Man those posters there really dislike Friedman. I get it. I’m not crazy about him, but I don’t hate the guy. I do question the small market mentality and new wave tactics, but we are in the mix every year. Anyway, the debate goes on about Harper, and this morning my wife reads me a headline – “Phillies Can Plan $700 million Manny Machado, Mike Trout Pairing”. WTF?

        The Phillies are coming. So are the Cards and Brewers. And we might just proceed preparing for that possibility by purchasing a plethora of periphery platoon players. And you know might pass us? The Padres.

        Analyze that Andrew.

  9. This from the Atlantic. (I don’t pay for it, I grab it from other places):

    “Free agency was built on a view that saw top players underpaid, often wildly so, for the first six years of their career before they became free agents. And then they got to make up for that in free agency, where they might be seen as overpaid—particularly on long deals, in which teams understood that they’d have to eat some cost on the last few years of a contract in order to get premium talent on the first few years. The balance was precarious, but it was, for the most part, there until the last two offseasons.

    Now, teams are disincentivized from high spending with the harsher luxury tax, and they’re increasingly comfortable with sitting out years at a time in order to attempt a new window of contention from the ground up. There is more emphasis placed on prospects and draft picks, and less on free agents. Charitably, you could read that as teams starting to prioritize youth over veteran talent. Realistically, you could read it as prioritizing cost-controlled players over all else.

    There might be a tendency to classify all of this as the product of front offices getting smarter. There are fewer contemporary deals that could be labeled “mistakes.” If Grandal’s body begins to break down in the coming years, Milwaukee won’t be paying him $20 million in 2023 the way Toronto will be paying (Russell)Martin in 2019. Front offices are better at saving money and being more efficient all as the league boasts record revenues.

    But it’s not quite as cut and dry as general managers being smarter. If a team has any interest in winning, it stands to reason that there’s a point at which “payroll money saved” will cease to outweigh the cost of missing out on a strong talent. And if the league has any interest in keeping a peaceful relationship with its players, then this system will have to change—unless it wants a work stoppage, which is beginning to feel more and more likely.”

    I think an argument could be made the smarter teams (us?) put themselves into a position to let the better prospects in their organization play. Trust your own development process. We have a couple players that have proven themselves in the minors. We have plenty of utility guys that aren’t being paid all that much but are producing. Maybe Verdugo, Smith and Gonsolin should just step in. Verdugo is clearly ready, Smith is 23 and Gonsolin 24. I’m sure you can point to others. wtf, why not give them their shot? As a great all knowing and powerful leader once said……. “what have you got to lose?” (ok, maybe a bad example. But hopefully you get the point).

  10. Scoop, almost every team is being run by a GM or president with a small market mentality. I hate to risk bear’s ire but I’m good with Andrew, he doesn’t set the budget, he is expected to maintain whatever ownership tells them they want to spend. If we want to blame somebody we should be talking about Stan Kasten he is the man watching the money. Andrew gets to put his two cents worth in but, ultimately ownership dictates how much money he spends. I bet Andrew will be willing to give money to Harper, or machado if ownership wants to let him. I might sound like a Friedman apologist, but he was hired to get the budget under control, and keep the team competitive. He has brought the budget down from almost 300 million to 195 million last season, and we’ve been in the play offs every year, you don’t do that without signing a few reclamation projects. After all that, I say sign Harper or manny they have the money, the dodgers gross half a Billion dollars, or more, every year, and they act like it is imparitive, they stay under the cap. I don’t believe they need 300 million for overhead, and operating costs. I call BULL SHIT on Kasten and ownership, take the hand cuffs off of Andrew, and let him spend some of your ample profits. I feel better now, got to get back to work.

    1. Well said Keith.

      If the man controlling the purse strings says stay under the salary cap, then that is what they will do. I have to ask – why? You reset it last year. What’s a few million dollars to an organization that has billions? I’m reminded of a line from The 3 Amigos – I believe it was Jefe talking to El Guapo … “El Guapo…. if you want cattle, you take the cattle… when you want food, you take the food….. if you want the woman, just TAKE the woman!” I would say to El Andrew…. “you want the Harper… just TAKE the Harper!”

  11. I get it for a legit superstar,like Trout who puts up those MVP numbers every year but Harper has only had one superstar year.. Do you sign a guy for the next ten years at 35 mil who might give you one more superstar year and a couple of good years- 900 plus OPS and then years of blah! The salary cap hasn’t gone up much in last few years. It’s tough to recover from big, bad contracts and there are so many examples of just that. If Dodgers were in AL where you could DH Harper I’d be more comfortable but I think it’s a big gamble. A time is coming where Seager, Bellinger, Buehler and Urias are gonna get paid

  12. Another one bites the dust. Yanks sign LeMahieu, 2/24. If Tulo starts at short and DJLM at 2nd that probably moves Torres to 3rd and Andujar off the team. Anyone interested in trying to make him our left fielder? Of course, I have no idea what the Yanks would want for him. It will take a lot no matter who gets him. So, has Andrew decided to just go with CT3, Kike and/or Max at 2nd or is there a chance he goes after someone like Marwin G.?

  13. OK, here’s a totally off the wall thought: AF is working on a deal with Seattle where he sends them a bunch of guys and we get Haniger and agree to take on Dee Gordon’s contract. And that’s why we didn’t go after any of the 2nd basemen. Sorry guys, this is what you get when I consume too much coffee too early in the day and Friedman stays silent.

    1. Reminds me of our posse sitting around The Blue Room in ‘73 (my roommate and I painted the tv room a deep cobalt blue) and debating what Captain Kirk SHOULD do. The higher we got, the more outrageous our plans. Of course he never did what any of us suggested. I have NO idea what Friedman plans but I’m pretty sure I’ll be wrong about it.

      1. If you could get him into the blue room and gave him some of your stash he might listen to you.

  14. Our worst case scenario is to play Boston again in the WS with four games against Sale and Price. I want to sign guys who can come up and win some games with big hits against those two.. Haniger works for me as does Castellanos. Heck he can’t be any worse defensively than Kemp out in left and sub him out late after he gets his 3 ab’s.

    1. Chris Sale gets everybody out. RH hit .183 against him. Price wasn’t quite as successful – .234. We want to beat those guys we’ll need to shut them out. We can take ‘em 1-0.

      1. Ken Rosenthal says we’re still in on Realmuto, we’re getting cash back on the Martin trade of course, but we’re also sending 2 as yet unnamed prospects.

      2. Not that Sopko and Brito are future Hall of Famers, but if we give them those guys they should cover Martin’s entire contract.

  15. Martin played 8 games in left field last year. I’m thinking we didn’t get him instead of Realmuto, we got him instead of Harper.

    1. I like Russell. He flipped me a ball in pregame batting practice at Chase Field. I gave it to a kid.

      Realmuto and Martin would work.

    1. If at first you don’t succeed…………………………………………………………….flying to Seattle for in-person negotiations tonight. Should have it wrapped up over the weekend. Jeez, maybe I shouldn’t have inhaled when Scoop gave me that stuff to smoke.

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