Watching the Tigers-Indians game yesterday and noticed that Chris Perez was warming up to come into a close, extra-innings game. Then he sat down and Terry Francona went with a combo of Rich Hill and Cody Allen in the 10th. What gives?
While warming up in the bullpen in the top of the ninth, Perez felt stiffness in his right shoulder and alerted bullpen coach Kevin Cash.
The Indians are playing a doubleheader against the Yankees today and Perez expects to be available. He said that, yesterday, it was just a matter of being cautious. It’s also possible that the cold weather in Detroit had something to do with it all. Worth watching, however.
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.