Mets manager Jerry Manuel is back on the hot seat again

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Kevin Kernan of the New York Post has a lengthy column today entitled “Manuel’s job in jeopardy” and says “this looks to be the point of no return” for Jerry Manuel as Mets manager. Here’s more:

The other day in San Francisco at AT&T Park the interview area for manager Jerry Manuel was moved to around the corner from the clubhouse. When Manuel emerged from the clubhouse and saw that his usual spot near the door had been relocated down the hallway, he said jokingly that “the street” would be the next stop for him. That day could be just around the corner for Manuel.

Manuel being on the hot seat is nothing new and in fact has been true for much of the past two years, although when the Mets were playing really well about a month ago he started to get praise for their success.
For instance, just 30 days ago Jon Heyman of SI.com wrote: “Time to give Jerry Manuel an extension. He fostered positive vibe around Mets.”
Manuel and the Mets have gone 9-16 since Heyman wrote that. Apparently the “positive vibe” vanished when the winning stopped. What a weird coincidence, right?

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.