Indians acquire Kevin Slowey from Rockies for Zach Putnam

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Last month the Rockies acquired Kevin Slowey from the Twins and penciled him into their rotation, but after picking up more pitching in the Seth Smith trade with the A’s they decided Slowey was no longer needed.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Rockies have traded Slowey to the Indians for pitching prospect Zach Putnam, which is a pretty solid move for Colorado considering he’s more highly thought of than the prospect (Daniel Turpen) they sent to Minnesota for Slowey in the first place.

Slowey gives the Indians some rotation depth in case Fausto Carmona’s legal situation keeps him from being cleared to pitch (or the team tries to void his contract).

He struggled with the Twins last season, angering management by refusing to accept a bullpen role, but Slowey has generally been a solid mid-rotation starter with mediocre raw stuff and excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios. He’ll make $2.7 million in 2012.

Putnam, who was the Indians’ fifth-round pick in 2008, ranked 10th on Baseball America‘s list of Cleveland’s top prospects.

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.