NLCS, Game 6: Dodgers-Cardinals lineup

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Dodgers:
LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Yasiel Puig
CF Andre Ethier
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
SS Nick Punto
SP Clayton Kershaw

Hanley Ramirez has tried to play through a cracked rib, but was in obvious pain and is now out of the Dodgers’ lineup. Nick Punto is starting at shortstop and batting eighth, with Yasiel Puig moving up in the batting order to take Ramirez’s usual cleanup spot.

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
SP Michael Wacha

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made a bunch of changes, including benching lefty-hitting Jon Jay in favor of righty-hitting Shane Robinson in center field. Jay has been awful defensively in this series and Robinson delivered a Game 4 homer, so he gets the nod versus left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Matheny has also shifted lefty bat Matt Adams down in the order, with Yadier Molina cleaning up and David Freese batting fifth.

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.