Edwin Encarnacion leaves game after being plunked on the hand by imploding Daniel Bard

18 Comments

One gets the sense that Red Sox starter Daniel Bard doesn’t really know where the ball’s going these days. Coming in to today’s action he has walked 31 batters to only 32 strikeouts. And today he walked six more in an inning and two thirds, allowing five runs on only a single hit.

And he took out a guy on the Blue Jays to boot.  The last batter Bard faced was DH Edwin Encarnacion, who he plunked on the right hand. He stayed in the game to run the bases, but he was lifted for Jeff Mathis later in the game.  No word yet on Encarnacion’s status.

Bard’s status: maybe ticketed out of the Red Sox starting rotation if this keeps up.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

Getty Images
7 Comments

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.