Anibal Sanchez has had a pretty difficult time since joining the Tigers in a July deal with the Marlins, but that hasn’t extended to his starts versus Cleveland. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday in the Tigers’ 5-3 victory.
Sanchez faced the minimum through 6 2/3 innings, with the only batter to reach doing so on a HBP (he was promptly erased on a double-play ball). Unfortunately, he gave up three straight hits from there, resulting in his removal. Carlos Santana tripled to break up the no-hit bit, Russ Canzler doubled and Lonnie Chisenhall delivered an RBI single, cutting Detroit’s lead to 5-2. The Indians rallied for one more run in the eighth, but that was it for them.
Sanchez is now 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three starts against the Indians as a member of the Tigers. He’s 1-5 with a 5.66 ERA in his other six outings for the team.
The win kept Detroit one game back of Chicago in the AL Central after the White Sox beat the Twins earlier in the afternoon.
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.