Arthur: Why did 29 other teams not offer Yasmani Grandal $20 million?

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on January 11, 2019:

On Wednesday, free agent Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year, $18.25 million contract with the Brewers. It’s a ludicrous deal for one of the best catchers in baseball, a player projected to produce in excess of 4.0 Wins Above Replacement per year for the next few seasons. Grandal’s contract is the most unusual yet in an offseason almost utterly bereft of activity. It prompts questions about why 29 other teams didn’t offer him more.

Grandal is no household name, but readers of Baseball Prospectus should recognize the former Dodger’s resume. He’s been one of the better all-around players in baseball during the last three years, ranking ninth, 27th, and 15th in league-wide WARP. Grandal isn’t just past production; the projections like him, too. He combines some of the best pitch framing in the league with above-average offense and sturdy durability. To top it off, he’s only 30 years old and without a history of significant injuries.

Despite all that production and the positive signs going forward, he agreed to a one-year deal that barely exceeded the value of the $17.75 million qualifying offer he rejected from the Dodgers. It’s hard to fault the Brewers for signing him; this will go down as one of the best contracts of the 2018-2019 offseason. It marks the second consecutive offseason in which the Brewers have successfully taken advantage of what might be the new market inefficiency—free agents. What I can’t understand is why 29 other teams didn’t make a better offer.

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Originally published: January 11, 2019. Last Updated: January 11, 2019.