Michael Bourn expects to play in AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday despite wrist, calf injuries

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Indians center fielder Michael Bourn was pulled from the club’s regular-season finale with tightness in his left calf and missed chunks of September with a right wrist sprain. But neither of those injuries should keep him from participating in October baseball.

According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Bourn did agility work and ran the bases Tuesday in a team workout at Progressive Field and gave a fist pound to GM Chris Antonetti right after. Bourn expects to play the outfield and lead off in Wednesday evening’s American League Wild Card Game with the Rays.

Bourn, 30, batted .263/.316/.360 with 23 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 130 games this season for the 92-70 Tribe. He signed a four-year, $48 million free agent contract with Cleveland in early February.

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.