For the second time this week the Twins have called up a player they signed out of an independent league.
First it was reliever Caleb Thielbar and now it’s first baseman Chris Colabello, who signed with the Twins last year after dominating in the Canadian-American Association.
Colabello is 29 years old and wasn’t all that impressive at Double-A in 2012, hitting .284 with an .828 OPS, but after playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic he moved up to Triple-A this season and hit .358 with 12 homers in 46 games.
Our own Matthew Pouliot highlighted Colabello yesterday for having one of the 20 highest OPS totals in all of the minors and while his getting a chance because of Trevor Plouffe’s post-concussion symptoms is unfortunate Colabello is still a helluva story.
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.