Chris Carter is going to be disappointed when the A’s send him to Triple-A

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A’s prospect Chris Carter told Jane Lee of MLB.com that he’s hoping to win a spot on the Opening Day roster despite a very crowded outfield/designated hitter picture following the offseason additions of David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, and Hideki Matsui.

At the end [of last season] I thought I could be their guy coming in and making the team. Now, it’s definitely more of a competition. I don’t know my chances now of making the team with the signing of new players. I’d like to think I’m going into camp with an opportunity to make the team. We’ll see how it turns out.

He’s going to be disappointed. Daric Barton is locked in at first base, Matsui was signed to a one-year, $4.25 million deal to start at designated hitter, and the starting outfield is pretty much set with Willingham and DeJesus flanking Coco Crisp. Unless the A’s decide to keep the 24-year-old Carter around as a bench bat and platoon starter he’s destined for a second straight season at Triple-A.

In fact, A’s director of baseball operations Fahran Zaidi all but admitted that they have him slated for the minors when talking to Melissa Lockard of Scout.com:

Going out and getting David DeJesus and Josh Willingham is not an indictment of what we think of Chris Carter. He’s a guy who is still very much a part of our long-term plans and a guy we are still very much excited about. We just think that he could use a little more seasoning after hitting .258 in Triple-A.

Carter could also use a lot more practice as an outfielder, because after playing mostly first base in the minors the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder looked absolutely brutal in 156 innings there for the A’s and Barton seemingly isn’t going anywhere at first base.

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.