A December 2014 trade that sent Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres netted the Los Angeles Dodgers two pitchers and Yasmani Grandal. Zach Eflin was used in a trade with a Philadelphia Phillies, leaving Grandal as the centerpiece of the Dodgers’ return.
He hit .234/.353/.403 with 12 doubles, 16 home runs and 47 RBI, and was named an All-Star in his first season with the Dodgers. A switch-hitter, Grandal provided the club with power not seen from the catcher position since Mike Piazza’s time with the organization.
Grandal remained the starter last season and into 2017, but began to lose playing time to an emerging Austin Barnes. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on multiple occasions said he had an equal amount confidence in each of his catchers.
While that may hold true, the Dodgers are said to be open to trading Grandal, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
Rival clubs say #Dodgers are willing to trade catcher Yasmani Grandal, who is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility. Grandal started 2 games in postseason; Austin Barnes started the other 13. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 30, 2017
The 29-year-old is projected to earn $7.7 million next season. Grandal is among several players the Dodgers are expected to tender contracts to prior to the deadline.
Grandal appeared in a career-high 129 games this past season, batting .247/.308/.459 with 27 doubles, 22 home runs, 58 RBI and a 100 OPS+. His doubles were also a career high, but while Grandal fell five homers shy of a new high that was set in 2016.
In 370 games over three seasons with the Dodgers, Grandal has hit .237/.332/.448 with 53 doubles, 65 home runs, 177 RBI, 169 walks, 338 strikeouts, and a 109 OPS+ in 1,365 plate appearances.
Trading Grandal would pave the way for Barnes becoming the Dodgers’ primary catcher. If they do not acquire a veteran, Kyle Farmer serve as the back up. Farmer made his MLB debut this season and appeared in 20 games (one start).
Moreover, the Dodgers farm system is stocked with notable catching prospects Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz.