Makes perfect sense to trade Grandal now
The Dodgers starting catcher for the past three years is now due to make about $8M in arbitration and based on how the Dodgers used him in the postseason it would appear he is second on the depth chart behind Austin Barnes.
I speculated yesterday that moving Grandal this winter would be one way to help offset a deal for Giancarlo Stanton and still stay under the Luxury Cap. Even if they don’t make a play for Stanton moving Grandal now would help them regarding the Luxury cap of $197M. If you wonder why the Dodgers care about the $197M Luxury Cap for 2018, Eric Stephen explains the many financial implications as well as the hit to the development team.
of MLB.COM posted today that the Dodgers are indeed trying to actively trade Grandal.
“Rival clubs say #Dodgers are willing to trade catcher Yasmani Grandal, who is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility,” Morosi tweeted on Wednesday night. The Dodgers have not confirmed the report.
Sure it would be nice to have a backup like Grandal who is definitely a starting major league catcher but if Austin Barnes is your starting catcher it would be problematic keeping Grandal on the Dodgers for 2018. He has been a starting catcher and probably wouldn’t take well to backing up the catcher who used to back him up. Even more important might be the dollars that Grandal could lose by being a backup in his walk year.
The Dodgers would need a backup catcher but they should be had for about $2M saving the Dodgers around $6M in 2018. I don’t expect Kyle Farmer is that guy but he should be plenty of depth in AAA. Will Smith just had an outstanding AFL and will probably see time in AA/AAA and should be ready to backup Barnes by 2019. The Dodgers have moved Keibert Ruiz very aggressively but I’d expect him to spend a full year in the California League being he is only 19.
Dodger Catching Depth:
AAA – Kyle Farmer – might be able to carve out a career as a backup catcher who can play the infield in a pinch.
AA – Will Smith – some think he has major league starting skills. The ceiling might be a Realmuto type of catcher which would be outstanding but at the very least should be able to handle back up catching duties while giving the team great flexibility. In other words what Austin Barnes did in 2017.
A+ – Keibert Ruiz – has to be the future at catcher the only question is how far in the future. Given how quickly he has been promoted in the minor leagues you could see a timeline for him starting in 2020. If the Dodgers play this right, just as Austin Barnes gets expensive, Keibert Ruiz should be ready.
A – Connor Wong – seems like a Will Smith clone.
Anyway if Grandal is moved he had an impactful three years with the Dodgers. LAD catchers with at least 1,000 plate appearances who were primarily catchers for 90% of the time.
Player OPS+ PA From To Age HR OPS Mike Piazza 160 3017 1992 1998 23-29 177 .966 Tom Haller 115 1637 1968 1971 31-34 25 .737 Yasmani Grandal 109 1365 2015 2017 26-28 65 .780 Russell Martin 101 2713 2006 2010 23-27 54 .761 Mike Scioscia 99 5057 1980 1992 21-33 68 .700 John Roseboro 98 4505 1958 1967 25-34 90 .713 A.J. Ellis 93 1922 2008 2016 27-35 36 .688 Steve Yeager 84 3869 1972 1985 23-36 100 .657