Aubrey Huff’s anxiety-inspired trip to the disabled list was a somewhat surprising, but it appears he won’t be away from the team for an extended period: Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Huff is expected to join the team back in San Francisco on either Friday or Saturday.
Baggarly also sheds a little light on what may be going on in Huff’s life: his wife filed for divorce just before spring training started. That may not have anything to do with what’s happening, but the anxiety was occasioned by a trip home to Florida to deal with “personal issues.” And while everyone’s situation is different, as a recently-divorced fellow, I can attest to the fact that such an experience is trying as all get-out, and that’s even if things go relatively amicably.
Here’s hoping this is but a blip on Huff’s radar screen and he’s back to his old self soon.
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.