Twins add WBC hero Samuel Deduno to the rotation

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When last we saw Samuel Deduno he was playing hero for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, beating the United States and then Puerto Rico to win the title.

He ended up not making the Twins out of spring training because of a groin injury suffered during the WBC, but Deduno is healthy now and after three starts at Triple-A the Twins are calling him up to become their fifth starter.

Deduno walked 10 batters in 16 innings at Triple-A, which is pretty standard for him and the biggest reason why there’s lots of skepticism about his being able to succeed in the majors long term. For now at least he’s getting the nod ahead of top prospect Kyle Gibson, but Deduno’s leash may not be particularly long.

Last season Deduno stepped into the Twins’ injury wrecked rotation and posted a respectable 4.44 ERA in 15 starts despite nearly as many walks (53) as strikeouts (57) in 79 innings.

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.