The White Sox have agreed to a 4-year deal with top free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal. The contract will pay him $73 million, according to the club’s announcement.
Grandal averages $18.25 million in each of those seasons, and he’ll instantly become Chicago’s top catcher. He’s so good behind the plate that he ought to help elevate their rising pitching staff from Day One, and last season he batted
OFFICIAL: The #WhiteSox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $73-million contract with free agent All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal (@YazmanianDVL08). Under terms of the agreement, Grandal will receive $18.25 million per year from 2020-2023. pic.twitter.com/dczzZo8UTE
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) November 21, 2019
For the Twins, the star catcher would have been more of a luxury than a need. I’ve argued in the past that it was a luxury worth pursuing, but that ship has sailed. Now he’s on a division rival that clearly is taking itself seriously in 2020. With some of Chicago’s other young players on the rise, plus the return of Michael Kopech from Tommy John surgery, they could certainly add a lot of wins to their ledger this season.
On the bright side for the Twins, they already have a star catcher in Mitch Garver, and this move “takes money out” of a competitor’s pocket, so to speak. Now that those $18 million per season are earmarked for Grandal, that’s cash the White Sox can’t allocate for, say, a starting pitcher.
But in short I think this is a great move for the White Sox. And on a related note, they might be more ready to contend than I thought six months ago.
Over the past three seasons with the Dodgers and Brewers, he’s been one of baseball’s best offensive catchers. Sometimes that was in limited action (Dodgers) and then he backed it up on more of a full-time basis (Brewers). The switch-hitter has batted .244/.349/.464 with 74 home runs since the start of 2017. And Grandal consistently rates as one of the best defensive catchers, preserving strikes and getting his pitchers through innings and games. In 2019, only one catcher was trackably better than Grandal at saving runs by preserving strikes, according to data from Baseball Savant.
The White Sox just added a good hitter and a good defensive catcher who has been durable for $18.25 million per year over the next 4 seasons.