In catcher Yasmani Grandal's eight years in the big leagues, some of the pitchers on his teams have preferred to throw to somebody other than him. Pitchers -- especially starting pitchers -- see themselves as king for the day in the games they take the ball, so they want everything the way they prefer, from the clubhouse music to the catcher. And not everybody has been comfortable throwing to Grandal.
But this was also true of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, whom pitchers viewed as an erratic defender. And Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, who some pitchers believed called too many fastballs early in his career to give himself the best chance to throw out runners. And A.J. Pierzynski, who could be combative over his 19 years in the big leagues -- and won a lot of games along the way. And longtime Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, the primary backstop for four World Series championship teams.
In fact, part of the reason why the Yankees' front office got rid of Joe Girardi after the 1999 season was to compel manager Joe Torre to play Posada, who did not have the best working relationship with David Cone, among others, because of his catching style.
So any problems with Grandal are far from disqualifying, given his statistical preeminence: Like Posada, he's a switch-hitter who gets on base at a high rate and hits for power. Additionally, Grandal fares well in pitch-framing metrics.
Grandal's production at the plate makes him the most coveted catcher in the free-agent market, by far. There are more than a dozen unsigned veteran catchers, most of them accomplished and respected, but Grandal will get the biggest payday among catchers.
He fits with a lot of teams for a lot of reasons, so there appears to be a robust market for Grandal, who turned 31 last week.