Edwin Rodriguez, who was fired as Marlins manager in part because of his poor relationship with Hanley Ramirez, appeared on MLB Network Radio today and was asked about the team’s plan to move the career-long shortstop to third base following the Jose Reyes signing.
Not surprisingly, Rodriguez thinks it may not go over particularly well with Ramirez:
I think it’s going to be a very interesting situation, to say the least. Knowing Hanley. He’s a very proud player. It’s going to be very hard for him to move out of shortstop. He’s a big league shortstop. He’s an All-Star shortstop. In my opinion, they’re going to have a tough time trying to convince him to move to third base.
Rodriguez opined that the Marlins would have been better off “put[ting[ the money into another player, like Albert Pujols or a front line pitcher.” Of course, they did sign Mark Buehrle, also tried to sign C.J. Wilson, and were turned down by Pujols after already signing Reyes.
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.