Michael Gonzalez threw just seven innings for the Rangers after coming over from the Orioles in an August 31 trade, but pitched well in the playoffs and impressed the team enough that they’re interested in re-signing the left-handed reliever.
Gonzalez underwent minor knee surgery shortly after the season ended and Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers recently asked to look at his medical records in preparation for a potential signing.
Texas has plenty of bullpen depth even if they follow through on plans to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation, but the Rangers are lacking a quality left-handed setup man like Gonzalez to go alongside right-handers Joe Nathan, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, and Mark Lowe.
Gonzalez’s injury history has seemingly soured teams on the idea of giving him a multi-year contract, but for a one-year deal he’d make a lot of sense for most contenders, the Rangers included.
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.