Toronto meets with Yasmani Grandal
Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal is sure to be one of the most coveted free agents on the market.
The switch-hitting backstop slashed .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers, and he is regarded as possibly the best framer in the game. According to Baseball Prospectus, Grandal was the second-best framer in 2019 while leading the MLB in framing runs in 2018.
A number of contenders–including the Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros–are in need of catching help this winter, so Grandal is sure to have a healthy number of teams lined up to ink him to a contract.
Surprisingly, the Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams that are interested in Grandal, according to Marly Rivera of ESPN:
Count the #BlueJays on the list of teams that have met with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) November 14, 2019
The Blue Jays won just 67 games in 2019, and they parted ways with Marcus Stroman at the trade deadline. They are in desperate need of starting pitching, but signing Grandal could open up other avenues.
Toronto has reportedly discussed trading young catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire for a starting pitcher, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet:
The Blue Jays have, to some degree, discussed catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire with other clubs, according to a rival executive, and they’ve put a very high value on the two young backstops while seeking a starting pitcher in return. Jansen was a finalist for the American League gold glove while McGuire delivered 1.2 WAR in 30 games as calculated by FanGraphs.
Should the Blue Jays acquire a starting pitcher in exchange for Jansen and McGuire, they could sign Grandal to help nurture young starters like Trent Thorton and Jacob Waguespack.
Toronto has some of the most intriguing talents in the game (like Vladdy Jr. and Bo Bichette), and there are some indications that they feel a greater urgency to advance their timeline for contention.