Costs, Benefits of Trading Yasmani Grandal


Yesterday, Friars On Base reported that C Yasmani Grandal would likely be included in a deal involving Dodger OF Matt Kemp.  Grandal was, of course, brought to the Padres in the deal that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati. So, should the Padres – the worst offensive team in MLB last year – consider trading one of last year’s better offensive players?  This will not be about trading him in a package that would bring over Kemp.  It’s Yasmani Grandal-centric.

Grandals specs:

2015 Opening Day Age: 26

2014 Stats: .225/.327/.401/.728; 112 OPS+; 111 wRC+; 1.2 WAR

2014 Defense: 13% runners caught stealing (league: 28%);

league-leading 12 passed balls

2014 Second Half Slashline: .242/.356/.440/.795

Under Control through 2018

For some help with the stats click here

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Trading Grandal is a Bad Idea

Grandal made the 2014 Opening Day roster after his knee was torn up on July 6, 2013.  Typically, players take about a year to recuperate properly.  So, we can basically throw his first half stats out of the window and say that he was not fully healthy.  Frankly, he didn’t look 100-percent, so it’s justifiable to do so.  The fact that he came back from a knee surgery so quickly and did not spend one day on the disabled list is impressive and a good sign for Grandal.

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Having a catcher who can hit is incredibly valuable.  So valuable that Dennis Lin of UT San Diego tweeted that Grandal is the most valuable trade piece for the Padres.  Think about how much better St. Louis is because of Yadier Molina or San Francisco because of Buster Posey.  I’m not saying that Grandal is on their level, but he has perennial all-star potential.  Plus, he’s only 26 and entering his prime years.

How many people have been complaining about Yonder Alonso over at 1B?  Why not give Grandal some time at 1B?  When playing there, the young Cuban hit .241/.331/457/.788, which is pretty comparable to the numbers Adam LaRoche put up the past two seasons.  With Austin Hedges only a year or two away, it isn’t inconceivable for Bud Black put Grandal at 1B full-time when Hedges is ready.

But with all of these benefits, a poor 2013 and an equally bad first half to 2014, poor defense, and a PED suspension, his value might still be diminished.  I don’t think any Padre fan wants to relive another Anthony Rizzo trade.  Do the Padres – a terrible offensive team – really want to trade away one of their greatest offensive weapons?

Trading Grandal is a Good Idea

With all of that upside, the Padres are more likely to get a lot of value.  Every team could use a C who can hit for power and get on base…a lot.  In return A.J. Prefer likely isn’t looking for another pitcher, so ideally a good bat would be coming to San Diego.

Upside is a double-edged sword.  Grandal hasn’t been the most consistent player.  One half he’s great, the next half we can’t even use the PetCo Park excuse.  Granted, this may be the result of his suspension messing with his ability to get ready (2013) and not being 100-percent healthy (2014).

The deciding factor, for me, is his PED use.  If not for this one factor, it’s doubtful the Padres would have even made him available.  We have already seen one Padre player who used PED’s let go this offseason.  Why not get rid of the other convicted one?  Generally, I am all in favor of giving someone a second chance, especially athletes.  Take Josh Hamilton, for instance.  I actually think Yonder Alonso should be given one for 2015.  But note “generally.”  PED’s are absolutely inexcusable.  They may be more accepted in other sports, but this is baseball and we care about the integrity of the game. Every user tarnishes the game.

Trade Yasmani Grandal, but get a good return.