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Dodgers Free Agency News: Dodgers In Contact With Former Astros Catcher

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.

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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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

7 Comments

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  1. For 1 year bring back A. J. Ellis. Kershaw liked pitching to him and maybe Ellis can help Kershaw with his pitching mechanics.

    • I love the idea of Ellis. Or a Chris Herman type that can hit from the left side on barnes’ days off and offer some versatility.

    • If the Dodgers’ FO doesn’t want to pay too much in terms of prospects, salary and/or length of contract, then perhaps bringing back A.J. Ellis for 1 yr. might be the route to go.

    • One thing that was mentioned on other blogs is that no way does Barnes fit the bill as a starting catcher for offensive difficulties. Yes Dodgers should certainly be able to do better than Maldonado. AJ Ellis? Maybe, but he will certainly not play in as many games as Grandal did last year. It appears Dodgers will not be too concerned about offense from the catching corps, and may be willing to settle for less at that position offensively to concentrate on 2nd base and maybe the BP. That BP that served up tons of HR’s last year that cost the Dodgers several games.

  2. We don’t need any mediocre options. We have made that mistake too many times. If you cant get Realmuto, just bring up Farmer and Smith. Carry three catchers and play the one that hits the best as the primary catcher. Barnes plays second and Farmer playst third and I know they were working Smith at first and third last year.
    The same thing applys if you can’t get us a GOOD second baseman, the let Chris Taylot, Kiki Hernandez and Austin Barnes compete for it. Tha saves payroll for a quality player that we need when one is available.

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