A’s demote Dan Straily to Triple-A

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Not so long ago Dan Straily looked to be establishing himself as a long-term member of Oakland’s rotation, but after failing to make it out of the fifth inning in back-to-back start the A’s demoted him back to Triple-A.

Straily is 24 years old with a 1.79 ERA and 102/25 K/BB ratio in 85 innings at Triple-A, so he doesn’t have a whole lot more to prove in the Pacific Coast League at this point. He allowed just nine total homers in 28 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, but Straily is an extreme fly-ball pitcher and has served up 17 homers in 19 starts with the A’s.

All those homers have led to a 4.58 ERA as a big leaguer, but Straily has posted a solid 85/36 K/BB ratio in 106 innings while holding opponents to a .238 batting average. Expect him to be back in the A’s rotation soon enough.

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.