Colorado Rockies: Options to improve at catcher in 2019

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MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 4: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 4: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 4, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies slides home
DENVER, CO – JUNE 02: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies is tagged out at home by Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to end the first inning of a game at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Yasmani Grandal

One option is the Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal, who may be on his way out of Los Angeles. Grandal was last seen struggling mightily in the postseason, both with the glove and the bat. These struggles led to Grandal lashing out at fans and reporters, placing him squarely in the doghouse of both manager Dave Roberts and the fans of the greater Los Angeles area.

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LA’s loss could be Colorado’s gain, however, as the 30-year-old catcher had established himself as one of the more reliable all-around catchers in the game before his recent struggles. Grandal hit .241/.349/.466 in 140 games for the Dodgers, good for an overall OPS that’s more than 100 points higher than Rockies catchers were able to amass.

Grandal was also better behind the plate, throwing out 28% of would-be base stealers with a .994 fielding percentage. Both of these marks place him squarely around the league average which, again, would be a major improvement for the Rox.

The seven-year vet is a former All-Star that has hit at least 22 homers in three straight seasons … and in LA’s pitcher-friendly ballpark no less. Playing half his games in Coors Field would put Grandal in position to crack 30 dingers for the first time in his career, and his 12.2% walk rate last year would play in any ballpark.

Grandal made $7.9M last season and would probably be in line to make a similar amount with his next contract, assuming that his postseason struggles don’t depress his market value. This would be a modest cost increase over Iannetta, though an additional $3 to 5M wouldn’t be enough to break the Rockies bank, especially with Gerardo Parra’s $10M and Carlos Gonzales’ $5M salaries coming off the books.

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