The Milwaukee Brewers signed Yasmani Grandal to a one year contract for the 2019 season. They should sign him to another contract.
Last winter, Yasmani Grandal entered free agency fresh off a poor postseason, but still ranked as the best available catcher on the market. Despite long term offers elsewhere, Grandal signed a one year, higher value deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.
While the Brewers have a mutual option for the 2020 season with Grandal, it’s unlikely both sides will exercise that option. But that doesn’t mean that a reunion isn’t possible. Mike Moustakas had a mutual option that was declined last year and he still re-signed.
The Case For Signing Grandal
Just look at what he’s done in a Brewers uniform.
Grandal’s hitting .252 on the season, which is a career high. He now has 25 home runs and has broke the club’s franchise record for home runs as a catcher. Grandal has a .378 OBP, a career high, an .850 OPS, 22 doubles, 67 RBIs, and 89 walks.
He’s also been fantastic behind the plate, currently ranking as the 4th best catcher in baseball in terms of framing runs above average, and 2nd in baseball in total framing runs. Grandal is one of, if not the, best catcher in baseball with his combination of offense and defense.
He’ll be entering his age-31 season, which would still make him one of the youngest catchers available on this year’s free agent market. There is no one else on the free agent market or currently in the organization that can provide anywhere close to the production that Grandal brings.
The Case Against Signing Grandal
Grandal’s price is not going down with the way he’s been playing. He’s going to look for something similar this winter in the $18-20 million a year range, and could get that over two or three years. Can the Milwaukee Brewers afford that? On a one year deal, it’s almost no risk and it’s a shrewd move. But for two or three years, that’s a tougher long term commitment.
It’s especially tough considering how much money the Brewers actually have to throw around, and with the eventual desire for a Christian Yelich extension, the more free money they can have, the better.
Plus, the Brewers have more pressing needs elsewhere, namely their pitching staff. If they’re going to get the pitching that they’ll really need if they’re going to win a World Series, it’s going to cost some money. The offensive numbers can be made up elsewhere and the Brewers have strong defensive catchers already.
Overall, I think it makes the most sense to bring back Grandal. It’ll probably be at least a two, maybe three year deal somewhere in the $18-20 million a year range, but with his combination of power, on-base ability, and defense, having the best catcher in baseball is never a bad thing.
If the Milwaukee Brewers can bring back Grandal and get some more help for the pitching staff, they could finally have all the right ingredients.
It’s been fun to watch Grandal this year, and when he’s hot, he’s unstoppable. He’s hit four home runs in his last five games and playing at Miller Park certainly helps him out.