Heading into the offseason one of the more pressing areas of the roster the Los Angeles Dodgers needed to address was at catcher. They extended a qualifying offer to Yasmani Grandal, which he predictably rejected.
Grandal’s tenure with the Dodgers appeared to have come to an end after four seasons. Though initial reports suggested Grandal re-signing was unlikely, a slow-developing market has left open the possibility.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been connected to multiple catchers this winter, including Francisco Cervelli, Yan Gomes and J.T. Realmuto. A trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates was reportedly discussed, Gomes was sent to the Washington Nationals, and the Miami Marlins’ asking price for Realmuto remains high.
With regards to the Dodgers, that’s amounted to the Marlins reportedly seeking a package that’s headlined by Cody Bellinger and includes prospects. Trading Bellinger appears to be a non-starter for the Dodgers.
In the eyes of two executives, the Dodgers should be willing to include Bellinger in a trade for Realmuto, per Jon Heyman of Fancred:
Folks have complained Marlins ask is too high for Realmuto. But 2 uninvolved execs point out he’s game’s best catcher; say they’d even give up Bellinger for him. Get why LA prefers to keep Bellinger and why prospects make sense for Miami but Bellinger not a crazy request.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 6, 2019
A unanimous National League Rookie of the year selection in 2017, Bellinger regressed some last season. The club nevertheless remains confident in him moving forward, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Bellinger’s struggles in 2018 were overstated.
While Realmuto is one of the top catchers in baseball, he’s only under team control for two more seasons, which would make trading Bellinger all the more costly.