The Milwaukee Brewers brought in Yasmani Grandal on a one-year contract but given his performance in 2019, they should re-sign him to a long-term deal.
While many thought that last offseason the Milwaukee Brewers should have made a trade or a big free-agent signing to bolster their starting rotation, GM David Stearns went a different route and signed the big free-agent catcher, Yasmani Grandal to a one year contract.
Although landing Grandal came with a hefty price of $18.25 million for the 2019 season according to Spotrac, his performance has definitely made it a worthwhile decision. Now, there is a mutual option in the contract for the 2020 season that could bring Grandal back on another one-year deal, however, Yaz is looking for a long-term contract that will pay him what he feels is his fair market value.
To get an idea of what that could look like, if we look back at this last offseason prior to Grandal signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, he turned down a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets. Especially given his offensive production this season, $15 million a year likely won’t bring him back on a long-term deal.
Given that it appears that Grandal has his sights set on a four-year deal, I don’t see it as likely that he will be back on the mutual option. So if the Milwaukee Brewers want him back in 2020 and beyond they will have to spend some money to do so. With that said, it is 100 percent worth it.
During the Milwaukee Brewers 2018 season, the catcher role was filled primarily by Manny Pina and Erik Kratz. While both players were very serviceable – and Kratz even had some playoff magic – this was a weak spot at the bottom of the batting order that Grandal was supposed to fix.
Coming into the 2019 season, Yaz had a career batting average of .240, a .782 OPS with an average of 16 home runs and 48 RBIs each year. And while prior to this season he was mostly remembered by Brewers fans for his poor play behind the plate, he did have 45 defensive runs saved since 2015 which was the most by any catcher in baseball.
However, so far he has blown all of those offensive numbers away. His batting average and OPS have jumped to .252 and .859 respectively, while he currently sits at 26 home runs, 70 RBIs and is third in the entire NL in walks. Grandal also sits third amongst catchers in the NL in WAR at 2.4 games.
There is no question that moving from Petco Park and Dodger Stadium to the hitter-friendly confines of Miller Park has helped those numbers but you can’t deny the boost that Grandal has provided to this team offensively. With Jesus Aguilar now gone, Lorenzo Cain struggling for much of the season, and Travis Shaw having a season to forget, Grandal contributions have been very much-needed.
Once we reach this offseason, starting pitching should be at the top of the to-do list for Stearns, but bringing back Grandal should be as well. As of now, the Milwaukee Brewers have a $93.6 million payroll for 2020 with a number of arbitration-eligible players that they will have to make decisions on.
With that said, if you want to compete for a World Series, you need players like Yasmani Grandal on your team and bringing him back is a must.