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The latest Grandal free-agent rumors

MLB.com

With 20-plus homers in each of the past three seasons, a lifetime 13.1 percent walk rate and well-regarded defensive tools behind the plate, Yasmani Grandal enters free agency as one of the most valuable backstops in baseball.

Below, you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the catcher.

With 20-plus homers in each of the past three seasons, a lifetime 13.1 percent walk rate and well-regarded defensive tools behind the plate, Yasmani Grandal enters free agency as one of the most valuable backstops in baseball.

Below, you will find a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the catcher.

Could Realmuto replace Grandal in LA?
Nov. 13: When Yasmani Grandal declined the $17.9 million qualifying offer, he likely bid farewell to the Dodgers. That puts the club in position to look for catching depth to team with Austin Barnes -- or perhaps a major upgrade behind the plate, if it so chooses.

MLB Network insider Peter Gammons discussed the possibility of LA making a play for the highly sought-after J.T. Realmuto: "The team that I keep hearing about ... is the Dodgers."

Video: Dodgers could be a possible destination for Realmuto

As Gammons points out, top catching prospects Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith might be a year away from helping the Dodgers -- or even could be a part of a package sent to the Marlins for Realmuto. And given LA's outfield depth, the club also could consider parting with someone like Joc Pederson, who is just 26 years old and isn't due to hit free agency until after the 2020 season, or Alex Verdugo, an outfield prospect who is ready for The Show.

The late-season reemergence of lefty Julio Urias, who missed most of 2017-18 after shoulder surgery, gives an already deep Dodgers pitching staff even more options, especially after Clayton Kershaw re-signed and Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the qualifying offer. In other words, LA's front office could have more freedom to deal from its surplus of young, controllable arms as a way to entice Miami.

Ross Stripling might make sense among those with big-league experience and success, while prospects like Dustin May and Mitchell White are high-upside youngsters near the top of a strong Dodgers system who could reach the Majors in the next year or so.

Dodgers expected to move on from Grandal after catcher rejects qualifying offer
Nov. 12: Yasmani Grandal has rejected the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer he received from the Dodgers. With catching prospect Keibert Ruiz likely a year away from debuting in the Majors, ESPN's Alden Gonzalez notes that the Dodgers will look for a short-term option behind the plate.

Tweet from @Alden_Gonzalez: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to accept the qualifying offer, but C Yasmani Grandal will not, source confirms. Dodgers will look for a new, short-term catcher to buy time before their promising prospects are ready. And they will have a ton of starting pitching coming back.

Grandal struggled during the postseason, but he has a lengthy track record as a productive hitter and solid defender, and many teams need a catcher. As a result, he should be able to land a lucrative multi-year offer.

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, new teams need to surrender one or more Draft picks to sign a player who rejected the qualifying offer. As a team that didn't exceed the luxury tax or receive revenue sharing, the Dodgers will receive a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B if Grandal signs elsewhere.

Mets more likely to pursue Maldonado or Ramos than Grandal
Nov. 12: Although the Mets will continue to monitor the market for an upgrade at catcher, new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen indicated Thursday that he's content with the club's catching situation.

"There's a lot of discussion surrounding the catchers," Van Wagenen said. "We are in the fortunate position that we don't have to do something in the catcher market. ... We will continue to be talking to free agents at that position and others and also exploring trades, but right now I feel confident we can go into camp with that position covered."

Van Wagenen said he expects to have Travis d'Arnaud back from Tommy John surgery and operating without restrictions before Opening Day, and the Mets also have Kevin Plawecki and Tomas Nido under club control.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, if the Mets do pursue a free-agent catcher, it's unlikely to be Yasmani Grandal. Rather, an industry source said New York is showing strong interest in Martin Maldonado, with Wilson Ramos as a potential fallback option.

Per Puma, opinions in the Mets organization are mixed regarding Grandal, who is expected to command the largest contract among free-agent backstops this offseason.

However, Tim Britton of The Athletic argues (subscription required) that upgrading at catcher should be one of the Mets' top priorities this offseason, and that Grandal should be Plan A for the club, with Ramos as Plan B and Maldonado as Plan C.

Could Grandal be a fit for the Nationals? 
Nov. 8: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo addressed a number of topics Wednesday at the MLB GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., including the club's catcher situation. Rizzo is looking for a "frontline" catcher, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, for the 2019 campaign. 

Tweet from @chelsea_janes: Rizzo said the Nationals are hunting a ���frontline catcher,��� a guy who can catch 120 games or more. Continue to be interested in Realmuto, but ���we���ve been talking about him for a year��� and nothing has gotten done. Marlins asking price remains high.

As Rizzo mentioned, Washington has been linked to Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto for well over a year, but the two National League East rivals have not come close to an agreement. Past reports have indicated that Miami has asked for super prospects Victor Robles or Juan Soto, two players Rizzo refuses to budge on, in exchange for Realmuto. 

If a Realmuto trade is indeed off the table, free agent catchers Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos would appear to be the next likely candidates for the Nationals. Ramos, however, has missed significant time in recent years, first from a torn ACL in Sept. 2016, that sidelined him for nearly the entire '17 season, and then a left hamstring ailment that prevented him from playing in last summer's All-Star Game. Grandal, meanwhile, has averaged 128 games over the past five seasons for the Dodgers, and would appear to present Washington the best combination of skill and durability behind the plate, outside of Realmuto. 

Nationals catchers compiled a .624 OPS in 2018, the sixth-worst mark in MLB. Upgrading the team's production behind the plate would appear to be a major objective this offseason, and Grandal -- who helped the Dodgers to an MLB-best .786 OPS last season -- could be the catcher to help Washington do just that.

Yasmani Grandal