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The Dodgers are willing to trade Yasmani Grandal

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Yasmani Grandal was the Dodgers starting catcher for most of the 2017 season. You wouldn’t have known that, however, if you just started following them during the postseason, when Austin Barnes got almost all of the reps behind the plate and Grandal lodged only 11 plate appearances all October long. That dynamic, it seems, will carry over into 2018 as well, Jon Morosi reports. He says that the Dodgers are willing to trade Grandal this offseason.

Some of this is likely Dave Roberts’ confidence in Barnes, who put up a strong line of .289/.408/.486 as a backup in 262 plate appearances during the regular season (he was only 10-for-46 in the postseason). Some of it, though, could be based on the fact that Grandal entering arbitration and looking for a raise over his $5.5 million salary. Which is actually not bad for a catcher who hit 22 homers and posted a 100 OPS+ while playing solid defense.

Tomorrow is the non-tender trade deadline, so the Dodgers are understandably sending out feelers to see if some team will give up something good for Grandal before the Dodgers have to decide whether to tender Grandal a contract. Any club looking to add Grandal, however, would no doubt prefer to wait until after tomorrow to see if there is any chance they can sign him as a free agent, which he would be if he were non-tendered by L.A., as opposed to having to give up talent to acquire him.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.