Since the news broke that Yasmani Grandal would be leaving the Dodgers via free agency, the Dodgers contingency plan at catcher has been a murky one. As of now it’s the incumbent Austin Barnes… and ?
Our good friend Michael Duarte of NBC Sports Los Angeles shed some light on a possible fit. Recently, the Dodgers checked in on former Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado. Maldonado also spent parts of several seasons in Milwaukee and Anaheim.
Sources: #Dodgers have been in contact with Free Agent catcher Martin Maldonado. He could be an option if Realmuto and others fall through.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) November 30, 2018
Maldonado isn’t going to excite anyone with the bat. In a season partially spent in Houston and Anaheim last year, he slashed .231/.257/.398; meaning he’s a slide back from 2018 Austin Barnes. His defensive WAR didn’t grade out highly, at 0.3 bWAR.
Still, there’s a need. And if you’re a free agent catcher right now, the Dodgers are probably doing their homework on you. It’s likely that as Duarte says – the Dodgers settle for a contingency plan when J.T. Realmuto lands elsewhere due to an overpay.
The take home message here is that the Dodgers are searching far and wide for a veteran presence at the catcher position. Behind that message – is they know they may be less likely to make a third straight World Series appearance if Austin Barnes is doing the lion’s share of work behind the dish.
The Dodgers need a catcher – and with Yan Gomes traded to the Washington Nationals – that’s one more name crossed off the wish list.
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