The offseason figured to bring about change behind the plate for the Los Angeles Dodgers, after another year in which Yasmani Grandal had a streaky showing and Austin Barnes regressed from a strong 2017 campaign.
While Barnes remains under team control, Grandal’s contract was up the morning after the World Series concluded. As expected, he was presented with the $17.9 million qualifying offer.
Grandal rejected the one-year pact, to no surprise, and reached free agency for the first time in his career. The Dodgers have reportedly operated this winter with an expectation he will not be re-signed.
As such, the club has been linked to multiple catchers, namely Yan Gomes and J.T. Realmuto. The Cleveland Indians traded Gomes to the Washington Nationals, while the Miami Marlins continue to pursue a deal for Realmuto.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, neither the Dodgers nor any other club are close to completing a trade:
As of late Tuesday, they were not close on a Realmuto deal, but then again, no one was. There’s still plenty of time, and the attention around the Marlins backstop will certainly intensify at next week’s Winter Meetings.
Heyman also noted there are at least 14 clubs involved in varying degrees of trade talks with the Marlins. A previous report indicated the Dodgers were one of the teams mentioned most often for a possible Realmuto trade.
Realmuto is coming off a career season in which he hit .277/.340/.484 with 30 doubles, 21 home runs and 74 RBI. He won a Silver Slugger Award in 2018, and although he has not won any Gold Gloves, is regarded as being strong defensively as well.
He’s under team control for two seasons, which fits well with Los Angeles as prospects Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith are closing in on being Major-League ready.