The Indians are still considering Jim Thome

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Not as some philosophical subject, but a a DH: Terry Pluto reports that, in the wake of Travis Hafner heading to New York, the Indians are still considering the 42 year-old Jim Thome for their DH/tater-mashing  job.

Thome hit .252/.344/.442 with eight homers, 25 RBI and a .786 OPS in 186 plate appearances with Philly and Baltimore last year, but he also suffered from some back and neck injuries that he now claims are healed.

More interesting fodder from that article: Pluto reminds us that Manny Ramirez — who some Tribe fans would like to see back in Cleveland — will be paid $13 million by baseball teams this year. $11 million he’s still owed from the Dodgers and $2 million from the Red Sox who are paying him deferred money for 25 years going back to his last deal there.

Just a little factoid to keep in your back pocket to aggravate your anti-Manny friends at some point later this year.

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.