Dodgers officially release Ted Lilly

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have officially released left-hander Ted Lilly, who was designated for assignment on July 25 and passed through waivers unclaimed.

Lilly posted a 5.09 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 23 innings (five starts) this season for Los Angeles, striking out 18 batters but issuing 10 walks. He’s been bothered most of the summer by chronic neck discomfort.

The 37-year-old southpaw is now a free agent and can sign with any team for the major league minimum. He is healthy at the moment and figures to draw interest given the lack of financial commitment required. The Dodgers still owe him whatever remains on his $13 million salary for 2013.

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.