The Milwaukee Brewers have landed switch hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal on a 1-year contract worth a guaranteed $18.25MM which includes a $16MM salary for the 2019 season and a $2.25MM buyout if the 2020 mutual option worth an identical $16MM is not exercised. Grandal previously declined a qualifying offer from his former employer, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and instead elected free agency in search of a multi-year deal. The QO was valued at $17.9MM so Grandal will receive slightly more then that but not the long term deal that he was seeking. Since the Cuba native was offered a QO and declined, the Brewers will have to forfeit a draft pick to the Dodgers as compensation which will come after the Compensatory Round B.
The 30-year old Grandal, drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Reds in 2010, will be entering his eighth year in the big leagues after spending time with the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. Grandal who hits from both sides of the plate provides a ton of pop for a catcher, he hit a career high 24 home runs last year over 140 games. He is also one of the better pitch framers in the game and has a strong arm behind the plate. Grandal did allow a couple notable past balls this past postseason which resulted in him being benched in favor of Austin Barnes but most do not view that as a big issue going forward as his track record shows he is a solid option behind the plate. As well as catching, Grandal has appeared in 50 games at first base in his career.
In acquiring Grandal the Brewers have added a solid everyday catcher which was one of the teams biggest needs. Currently the club had Erik Kratz and Manny Pina due to share time behind the dish and neither one compares to Grandal defensively or offensively. Grandal will slot into an already potent Milwaukee lineup that had a makeover last offseason with the additions of Lorenzo Cain via free agency and also the acquisition of, what ended up being, 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich. Adding Grandals bat and presence behind the plate gives the Brewers a big boost and brings them neck and neck with the Chicago Cubs as favorites for the NL central division this year.