The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their starting catcher from the last handful of seasons as Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. His deal does include a mutual option for 2020.
Grandal signing for just one year with the Brewers was a bit interesting considering he turned down the Dodgers’ qualifying offer early in the offseason and also reportedly had a four-year offer on the table from the New York Mets at one point in the winter.
After playing against the Brewers in the National League Championship Series, it appears Grandal saw the potential in that team and had a desire to join them.
At his introductory press conference in Milwaukee, he also made a joke about being excited to not have to play his home games at the pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium anymore, via Adam Berry of MLB.com:
“I think about 85 percent of all Major League ballparks would have been good for me, as long as it wasn’t Petco Park or Dodger Stadium,” Grandal joked. “But I love hitting here. I love playing here. I also took that into account of why I wanted to come here. It’s also going to be exciting to be away from those pitcher-friendly ballparks. For me, it’s a challenge to be in a ballpark where, when I’m behind the plate, I need to take into account what I’m calling and how I want to go through certain situations.”
The comment was a bit interesting considering Grandal actually thrived at the plate at Dodger Stadium in his career with the team. The switch-hitter had 52 home runs and a 140 wRC+ at home compared to 37 home runs and a 92 wRC+ on the road in four seasons.
With Grandal no longer in the mix, the Dodgers have found their solution at catcher for the 2019 season, trading for a familiar face in Russell Martin. The Dodgers are paying Martin just $3.6 million, as the Toronto Blue Jays picked up a bulk of his salary.
Martin’s offensive production has been significantly lower than Grandal’s the last four years, so it will be interesting to see what other moves the Dodgers make to help replace that production.