GIF of the day: Everyone was right about Detroit’s defense

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Earlier this season I posted some snarky tweet about how few things in life have ever lived up to the hype as much as the Tigers’ terrible defense, which predictably led to tons of Tigers fans telling me that defense hadn’t actually hurt the team very much. Or something, I mostly just remember that there was a lot name-calling involved.

Now that we’re at the halfway point of the season and the Tigers are one of the most disappointing teams in baseball at 40-42 that whole “their defense isn’t that bad” stuff has quieted down, it seems. After all, among AL teams they rank 10th in errors and dead last in both turning balls in play into outs and Ultimate Zone Rating. In other words, the Tigers’ defense has been every bit as bad as everyone expected.

Anyway, today I’ve been watching the Tigers-Twins game and it featured this beauty from Detroit’s defense:

And not to be outdone, the umpires called that a foul ball even though Rick Porcello clearly touched it (and Prince Fielder and Gerald Laird) in fair territory.

Note: If you’d like to send me angry messages on Twitter–about the Tigers’ defense or just life in general–feel free to follow me @AaronGleeman.

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.