Here’s the latest agency news from around the majors:
- Free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal has hired Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. Long one of the majors’ most well-rounded catchers, the 30-year-old Grandal now stands as the premier backstop on the open market, where MLBTR predicts he’ll land a four-year, $64MM guarantee. The switch-hitter spent the previous four seasons as a member of the Dodgers, with whom he slashed .241/.349/.466 over 518 plate appearances in 2018, posting a 125 wRC+ and at least 20 home runs (24) for the third straight year. Additionally, Grandal was the game’s top-ranked defensive catcher last season, per Baseball Prospectus.
- One of Grandal’s fellow free agents, left-hander Francisco Liriano, is also heading to Wasserman, Robert Murray of The Athletic relays. While Liriano was formerly a high-end starter, the 35-year-old’s effectiveness has waned over the past few seasons. He spent 2018 with the Tigers and logged a subpar 4.58 ERA/5.11 FIP with 7.41 K/9 and 4.92 BB/9 over 133 2/3 innings, and saw his velocity tumble as the season progressed. On the positive side, Liriano induced an above-average number of of ground balls (48.3 percent) and held same-handed hitters to a woeful .171/.255/.261 line. Perhaps he’ll be on teams’ radars as a lefty relief option – a role he took on late in 2017 with Houston.
- The Blue Jays’ Brandon Drury is yet another new Wasserman client, according to Jerry Crasnick, who adds that the infielder has tabbed Nick Chanock as his agent. The Yankees acquired Drury from the Diamondbacks in a noteworthy trade last February, and New York’s hope was he’d serve as its starting third baseman. Drury did win the job in spring training, but he landed on the shelf early in the season with blurred vision and migraines, which opened the door for rookie Miguel Andujar to emerge as the Yankees’ top third baseman. The breakout seasons Andujar and fellow rookie Gleyber Torres, a second baseman, enjoyed in 2018 helped influence the Yankees to trade Drury to the Blue Jays as part of a July deal for lefty J.A. Happ. Under two weeks after Toronto acquired him, Drury suffered a fractured left hand, ending a Murphy’s Law season for the 26-year-old. Drury ultimately slashed a horrid .169/.256/.260 and showed almost no power (one homer, .091 ISO) across 86 major league PAs. He’s projected to earn $1.4MM in 2019, his first of three potential arbitration years.
- Astros righty Josh James has hired CAA Sports, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports. After performing brilliantly in 114 1/3 minor league innings in 2018, the flamethrowing James continued to wow during a 23-frame debut with Houston late in the season. The 25-year-old notched a 2.35 ERA/3.51 FIP with 11.35 K/9 and 2.74 BB/9 in six appearances (three starts), perhaps giving him the inside track on a rotation job for 2019. James currently ranks as MLB.com’s 95th-best prospect.
These changes will be reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation info on more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. Agents, if you see any notable errors or omissions within the database, please let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.