Carlos Gonzalez hits for the cycle in heroic fashion

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Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez hit for the cycle in the Rockies’ 6-5 defeat of the Cubs on Saturday, and he accomplished the home run part of the feat with a walkoff blast.

He singled in the first inning, tripled in the third, doubled in the fifth and then ended the night with a solo shot to deep right field in the bottom of the ninth.  He is the sixth player in Rockies history to pull off all of those hits in the same game and the first player to end a cycle with a walkoff home run since Dwight Evans in 1984.  Thanks, STATS LLC.

Gonzalez is having an incredible 2010 and seems to get better each night.  Through 383 at-bats this season, he is batting .321/.350/.554 with 21 homers, 68 RBI and 15 stolen bases.  The Rockies, meanwhile, have climbed to 5.5 games back of the Giants in the hunt for the National League Wild Card.  They trail the NL West-leading Padres by 7.5 games.

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.