Jon Heyman is a braver man than I am. He’s digging into what has to be a fairly miserable conversation: a dispute between Yankees President Randy Levine and Super Agent Scott Boras about money.
Don’t you wish you were on the line for that kind of thing between those kinds of guys?
The upshot: Levine says that Boras is asking for $60 million over four years for Rafael Soriano. Boras says he never talked about four years, though the implication is — and logic suggests that — $15 million is about what Soriano wants. Levine has a nice “good luck getting that kind of money” quote in the article.
When it comes to the he-said, he-said, however, you probably gonna side with Boras. When he goes crazy it’s a calculated thing, like when he says that Oliver Perez is Sandy Koufax. He strikes me, however, like the sort of guy who makes an extremely lawyerly point of knowing who said what, and in exactly what way, when. Levine, on the other hand, strikes me as the kind of guy who, when he is delayed in traffic for ten minutes, says “the freeway was backed up 20 miles! I had to wait five hours! Jeez!”
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.