Indians expect Fausto Carmona to miss spring training

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Odds are that Fausto Carmona, like Leo Nunez before him, won’t do any significant jail time for his arrest on false identity charges, but the pitcher now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia may have trouble securing a visa and the Indians believe he’ll miss spring training.

Manager Manny Acta spoke to the Associated Press, which is reporting that “the team is trying to speed up Carmona’s arrival.”

However, last week’s trade for Kevin Slowey was seemingly made to address the hole in the rotation that would be created by Carmona/Heredia not being cleared to return to America.

He was released from a Dominican jail Friday after posting a $13,000 bond and so far there’s been no talk of the Indians trying to void his $7 million contract despite the belief that Carmona/Heredia is actually 31 years old, rather than his listed age of 28. Another option is placing Carmona/Heredia on the restricted list, which may allow the Indians to keep him on the roster without having to pay him until he shows up.

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.