Mets Offseason Free Agent Candidate: Yasmani Grandal
By Tim Boyle
Will we see the New York Mets sign catcher Yasmani Grandal this winter?
New York Mets followers will agree and disagree on an abundance of issues with this team. One I believe we can all get on board with is the fact that this team needs to upgrade at the catcher position. While the who is a debate, the what isn’t.
I’ve already examined the possibility of targetting Wilson Ramos in free agency. J.T. Realmuto also made my list of offseason trade candidates for the Mets to consider. Yet another target to help bolster their catcher position, backstop Yasmani Grandal is someone to look at.
Grandal might be just what the Mets need. He’s a good defender, gets on base regularly, and can hit with good power. Next season is his age 30 campaign so there’s plenty of years left on his career. Grandal is no short-term option. He’s someone we can trust for a few more runs at a championship.
As is the case with anyone who might be the best available free agent at their position, Grandal is going to cost money. The switch-hitting catcher may only have one career All-Star appearance yet he’s still arguably the best among those who play his position available in the free agent market.
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Perhaps the biggest challenge in acquiring Grandal is the fact that he’d come from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their bottomless bank book could keep him in Hollywood for an extended period of time. Other teams looking to upgrade at the position may always outspend the Wilpons. In fact, I’d bet on it.
Grandal is the type of free agent signing I could envision the Mets making. However, it comes with a caveat. This would end up as the only position player they add in the offseason. They could get a cheap reliever to join him. This franchise looks prepared to make several minor signings or make one big splash. Grandal falls into the latter category.
The fact that the Mets have Kevin Plawecki under contract for an affordable rate probably makes it tougher to see any big name join the team. I’m predicting Travis d’Arnaud is non-tendered and the team decides to go with Plawecki as the main backstop and either Tomas Nido or another veteran as the second-string.
Just because this is what I’m predicting doesn’t mean the Mets won’t surprise us. Whoever the new general manager is, he needs to turn over every stone and search every outhouse for the best catching option available.
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Far too much went wrong with the catchers in 2018. To avoid an upgrade at the position for another season is neglectful.