Josh Hamilton moved gingerly as he got to second base on last night’s extra-inning double and afterward the reigning MVP admitted that he’s been playing through a groin injury “for a while.”
“My groin is sore,” Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “A lot of guys are hurting right now. That’s part of it this time of year. I’m fine. It just hurts a little more when I have to run hard.”
Hamilton has yet to make a big impact in the postseason, but made it clear that he has no plans to miss any time and has hit reasonably well so far, going 9-for-33 (.273) with four doubles in eight games.
And he’s started each of the four ALCS games in center field, so manager Ron Washington is obviously convinced the groin injury and pain that comes with running hard aren’t enough to make him a poor option there defensively.
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.