Tigers take lead over Yanks in sixth inning of ALCS Game 1

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The Tigers have suddenly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in this ALCS Game 1 Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

Austin Jackson opened the top of the sixth inning with a triple into the nook of seats along the first base line then scored when Prince Fielder singled following an intentional walk of Miguel Cabrera.

In the next at-bat Delmon Young punched a single to shallow right, scoring Cabrera easily from second.

Tigers right-hander Doug Fister experienced serious command issues in his first two frames and ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth, but he fanned Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin to escape that particular threat.

The top of the seventh inning is just about to get underway at Yankee Stadium. Detroit is batting.

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.