Yesterday I ranked major league managers by handsomeness. Ron Gardenhire came in at number 28, unfortunately. Couldn’t be helped. It’s just science.
Well, his inner beauty is off-the-charts, because here he is, quite pleased, about his ranking:
I do not know if Clint Hurdle (30) and Ron Washington (29) feel the same way and, frankly, I’m afraid to ask them about it.
But I will be asked about it more! I will be appearing on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” tomorrow morning at 10:30. Absolutely true. I feel like they are going to come after me for putting Ausmus over Matheny, but I’m gonna stick to my guns.
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.