The Dodgers extended qualifying offers to catcher Yasmani Grandal and left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday, giving each player 10 days to decide whether to sign a one-year, $17.9-million contract for next season or become a free agent.
The Dodgers would receive a compensatory pick in June’s draft if they decline and sign elsewhere.
Having either player agree to the deal could be a coup for the club.
Despite his extreme streakiness and dreadful postseason history, Grandal has been one of baseball’s most productive catchers in recent years. In 2018, he led all catchers with 24 home runs and finished second in FanGraphs WAR while appearing in a career-high 140 games.
Going back further, Grandal’s performance over the last five years resembles the production Russell Martin and Brian McCann accumulated in the half-decade before they became free agents and signed five-year contracts.
McCann signed with the New York Yankees for $85 million in Dec. 2013, coming off his age-29 season. Martin received $82 million from the Toronto Blue Jays the next offseason after his age-31 campaign. Grandal turns 30 next week.
Ryu’s injury history renders him a risk. When healthy, Ryu has been effective, posting a 3.20 career ERA since coming over from South Korea for the 2013 season. But he suffered a career-threatening shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire 2015 campaign and most of 2016, and missed a chunk of the 2018 season with a groin tear.
Ryu, 31, returned from the groin injury to post a 1.97 ERA in 15 regular-season starts and was rewarded with starting Game 1 of the National League Division Series. He was dominant over seven scoreless innings, but didn’t pitch beyond the fifth inning in any of his three subsequent playoff outings.