Pittsburgh Pirates: Breaking Down the Addition of Yasmani Grandal

Aug 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal (24) smiles after
Aug 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal (24) smiles after / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday evening the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal who could be a strong addition to the club in 2024

Sunday evening during the Super Bowl the Pittsburgh Pirates made a free agent addition. This addition saw the Pirates sign veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal. The switch hitting Grandal joins the Bucs on a one-year deal for the 2024 season.

Grandal is coming off a poor season in which he finished a four-year deal with the Chicago White Sox. In 118 games played last season, Grandal hit for a .234/.309/.339 slash line with an 80 wRC+, 77 OPS+, and a .105 isolated slugging (ISO) in 405 plate apperances.

Despite his offensive struggles, Grandal remained a strong defender behind the plate. He posted a 1.7 dWAR with a +4 Catcher Framing Runs added. Even if Grandal is not the offensive threat he once was, he is still a very strong receiver behind the plate.

While Grandal has struggled offensively the past two seasons, from 2015 through 2021 he was one of the best catchers in baseball.

Adding Grandal is a smart move by the Pirates. First and foremost, he is a huge upgrade over Jason Delay or Ali Sanchez as the team's backup catcher. If things do not pan out with Henry Davis behind the plate, Grandal is a far superior fall back option than Delay or Sanchez.

Secondly, Grandal is also a great veteran catcher to mentor Davis. As mentioned above, Grandal is a plus defender and pitch framer. Two areas in which he can help mentor Davis. Grandal can also help teach Davis in the ways of claling a game and handling a pitching staff.

Even though he'll miss the entire 2024 season following offseason Tommy John surgery, Endy Rodriguez can also benefit from being around Grandal and picking his mind. His ability to be a great leader and mentor for the young Pirate catchers alone makes the Grandal signing worthwhile.

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