The Blue Jays met with Yasmani Grandal’s agent, which shows they’re exploring all avenues to improve this off-season, even if they don’t make sense on the surface.
The off-season is still very young, but it sounds like the Blue Jays’ front office has been pretty busy so far. In fact, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, they were even among the teams that met with free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The news is a bit surprising for a few reasons. First, the Blue Jays already have Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire in the fold behind the plate, and they also have Luke Maile available as a back-up. There has been reported interested in the Blue Jays’ young duo of catchers in particular, but the thinking is that they could trade one of them and keep the other as the starter, with Maile serving as support. They may not want to trade either of them, but it would be one way to potentially improve other areas of need, like the starting rotation for example.
Secondly, according to MLBtraderumors.com, Grandal projects to get a contract in the range of four years and 68 million. He’s an impact player and could certainly be worth that type of deal, but it’s hard to imagine the Blue Jays wanting to spend their money on a position that they potentially have two answers for already. When you factor in that both Jansen and McGuire are pre-arbitration eligible and make near the league minimum, I don’t know that I see Ross Atkins and company allocating their resources that way.
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All that said, it’s good to see that the Blue Jays are keeping their options open, even if an idea doesn’t make sense on it’s own. If they are legitimately interested in signing Grandal, that would pretty obviously mean that one or both of their young receivers could be used as a trade chip. If the return is worthwhile, then maybe there’s an argument for trying Jansen and/or McGuire, but in my opinion it’s a pretty far-fetched scenario.
Meeting about Grandal could mean that the Blue Jays want to get a better sense of the market, or maybe even an idea of how many teams could be in the market his services, and more importantly, who could come calling if they miss out. For example, if the Reds, who MLBTR predicts will sign Grandal, miss out on their free agent target, then maybe they would call up the Blue Jays and see what the cost might be to trade for a catching upgrade.
It could also simply be a case of doing their due diligence, and it’s never a bad thing to keep your eyes open for all ways to improve the roster. The Blue Jays famously traded away two of their best players in Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez in 1990, only to acquire Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter and go on to win a pair of titles. You can’t blame the front office for at least gathering information, and it’s good to see that they’re keeping their options open, even if they don’t make sense on the surface.