ESPN’s Adam Rubin reported that the Mets had shown interest in free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal now that Jhonny Peralta is off the board and spending a lot of money on Stephen Drew is an unappetizing thought. Furcal is now 36 years old and missed all of the 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
It is for that reason that the Mets’ interest in Furcal quickly dried up, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
But the more the Mets researched the 36-year-old free agent, the greater their worry about his physical viability became, to the point that one executive said the switch-hitter no longer is a candidate for the Mets.
The free agent market for shortstops is barren, especially for teams on a budget. And the Mets are in an unenviable position as Ruben Tejada, the author of a .519 OPS in 227 Major League trips to the dish last season, is first on the depth chart at the present moment.
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.