Perhaps the thinnest position in all of baseball is catcher, and one of the best in the league is currently on the free agent market in Yasmani Grandal, who spent the last four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Grandal turned down the Dodgers’ qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason as he searches a long-term contract. That is unlikely to happen in Los Angeles with top catching prospects Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz perhaps being one year away from reaching the big leagues.
A number of teams have shown interest in signing Grandal this offseason, with one of them being the New York Mets. According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, the Mets offered Grandal a lucrative four-year contract that he rejected:
Yasmani Grandal, who turned down the Dodgers’ $17.9-million qualifying offer, remains a free agent after declining a four-year, $60-million offer from the New York Mets, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The Mets have since found another solution at catcher, inking Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $19 million deal. So Grandal is still in search of a new team, with the likes of the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies among the teams with reported interest.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were also part of that group but they addressed the need by signing Jonathan Lucroy to a one-year contract.
A return to the Dodgers is still viewed as unlikely unless Grandal is willing to sign a one or two-year deal. That could benefit Grandal because he could hit the open market once again next winter without a qualifying offer attached to him.
If Grandal felt comfortable enough to turn down a four-year, $60 million offer, then he and his representation presumably believe they can net a similar offer elsewhere and won’t need to resort to signing a one-year deal.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman understands the team still needs to fill their catching hole this winter, but he feels there are plenty of options still available to them.