Catcher Yasmani Grandal signed with the Brewers in free agency last offseason on a far shorter and cheaper contract than he was expected to secure at the beginning of the winter. The Brewers landed the ex-Padre and Dodger for a one-year, $18.25MM guarantee, but only after Grandal rejected a four-year, $60MM offer from the Mets.
Now set to play in his second All-Star Game, Grandal reflected on his Mets talks Tuesday, telling Ken Davidoff of the New York Post: “I did think [signing with the Mets] was going to happen. We had a really good conversation, Brodie [Van Wagenen] and I. We met. I think the meeting went great. Both sides were on the same page. We just couldn’t come to terms.”
Unable to lock up Grandal, the Mets pivoted to the second-ranked catcher on the market, Wilson Ramos, whom they reeled in for two years and $19MM. The Ramos signing, like most of the Mets’ other high-profile offseason moves, has blown up in their faces thus far. The 31-year-old has continued to log above-average offensive production for his position, but his defense has lagged behind. Ramos has ceded playing time to backup Tomas Nido of late because of his behind-the-plate decline, leading to talk (even from Ramos himself) that the Mets could trade their more expensive backstop either before the July 31 deadline or in the offseason.
With the Ramos signing failing to deliver, the Mets may find themselves back in the market for a starting catcher next winter. Grandal should be available again then, as it seems unlikely he’ll exercise his half of a $16MM mutual option in the wake of yet another strong season as an all-around catcher. Grandal came with a qualifying offer attached last winter, but that won’t be the case if he reaches free agency again in a few months. The fact that the soon-to-be 31-year-old Grandal won’t have draft compensation hanging over his head will only make him more appealing to catcher-needy teams, possibly including the Mets.
Regarding an agreement possibly coming together next winter with the Mets, Grandal said: “You never know, you have another offseason in which it could happen. Everything happens for a reason. I believe in that.”