The Los Angeles Dodgers offered Yasmani Grandal a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason, although he declined it in favor of reaching free agency for the first time in his career.
With the Dodgers having two top catching prospects in Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith that are both expected to be one year away from being Major-League ready, a return to the Dodgers seemed unlikely for Grandal as he was seeking a long-term contract.
As the offseason went by a lot of teams in search of catchers found other solutions, so it looked as if a return to the Dodgers could be possible if Grandal was willing to accept a short-term deal.
It appears that Grandal was, in fact, willing to accept such a contract, but it was not with the Dodgers. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Grandal has agreed to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers:
#Brewers in agreement with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal on a one-year contract, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 10, 2019
Per Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Grandal is signing for an $18.25 million salary, which is slightly more than the $17.9 million qualifying offer he declined:
Grandal deal with Brewers worth $18.25m. One year.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 10, 2019
Reports earlier in the offseason indicated Grandal turned down a contract in the neighborhood of four years and $50-60 million from the New York Mets. Now he has the opportunity to hit the open market once again next winter without a qualifying offer attached to him to find the long-term deal he has been searching for.
Because he declined the Dodgers’ qualifying offer and signed elsewhere, they will now get a compensation draft pick in return. That pick will fall in Competitive Balance Round B while the Brewers will lose their third-highest selection in the 2019 draft.
With Grandal no longer being a possibility, the Dodgers will have to find another starting catcher for 2019. Veterans like Martin Maldonado and Matt Weiters are still available on the free agent market, while Francisco Cervelli and J.T. Realmuto could be trade options. The price tag for Realmuto is still believed to be too high for the Dodgers though.