Michael Young has been linked to multiple teams, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the 37-year-old third baseman is “strongly considering retirement.”
Young hit .279 with eight homers and a .730 OPS in 147 games for the Phillies and Dodgers last season, but Rosenthal writes that he “wants to spend more time at home with his wife and three sons.” His family situation has been a factor for Young previously in terms of trade scenarios.
It’d be interesting to know if the offers to Young include the promise of everyday playing time or just part-time roles, because he hasn’t logged fewer than 550 plate appearances in a season since 2001 and the thought of a bench gig might make retirement more appealing. Also, I guess a wife and kids and stuff is cool too. Whatever.
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.