CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds

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Buster Olney says that CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds this winter.  To which I say: wow.

Still, I’m not going to slap with this with “best shape of his life” for a couple of reasons.  Most directly, because I remember when CC was a young Cleveland Indian, and it would probably take more than a 30 pound loss for him to truly be in the best shape of his life.

But more to the point: Sabathia is one of the few guys in baseball who probably didn’t have a big need to lose weight. Oh, this will help — his knee is getting wonky and the less weight on it the better — but if it weren’t for that, he could probably do fine with some extra poundage. So much of Sabathia’s weight is below his waist, and that provides him with some serious stumps for planting.

Or not. Maybe someone who knows a lick about physical fitness and pitching mechanics can tell me I’m wrong.  It just seems that Sabathia has had less of a struggle with stamina or any of the other problems one would think being big would cause than most big guys do. Indeed, he’s had more stamina than most pitchers in the game.

Either way, though, good for him for dropping some pounds.

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.