The Milwaukee Brewers would love to have free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal back in the fold for 2020. But which teams will they have to worry about?
Yasmani Grandal is the top free agent catcher again this off season. Last year, he reportedly turned down a multi-year offer from the New York Mets early in the process, and ended up signing with the Milwaukee Brewers on what was essentially a one-year deal. The Brewers probably won’t have Grandal fall into their lap again as several teams are already lining up offers.
Where will the competition come from, and can the Brewers win the bidding for Grandal this year?
How good was Grandal in 2019?
He was really impressive in his first year in Milwaukee. Grandal played 153 games in 2019, and managed a .246/.380/.468 slash line with 28 homers. Grandal was also solid behind the dish, and filled for a 143 innings at first base.
What kind of deal can Grandal command?
Well, a multi-year deal with an average annual value above the $16 million option Grandal had with the Brewers is likely in order. FanGraphs has Grandal getting a four-year deal worth $70 million. MLBTradeRumors has Grandal getting a four-year deal worth $68 million. Four years in the $65 million-to-$75 million range sounds about right.
Grandal earned $18.25 with the Brewers in 2019, so $16 million-to-$18 million per year isn’t that ridiculous for the team to pay for 2020 and beyond. If GM David Stearns found the cash to pay Grandal last year, there’s every reason to think he’ll find the money this year, too.
Where will the competition come from?
There are as many as nine teams interested in Grandal’s services for 2020 and beyond. However, the stiffest competition appears to be coming from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds haven’t signed a free agent to a contract with an AAV over $3 million since 2013, but they’ve developed a solid core, and may be ready to add a large contract or two to their payroll, and Grandal is already known to be high on their list.
Teams like the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves and New York Mets are also believed to have interest in Grandal this off season. The good news is that the Brewers can compete with the other clubs for dollars, and it’s clear that Grandal enjoyed his season in Milwaukee. The competitive salary and family-like atmosphere may be enough to get Grandal to return for 2020 and beyond.