Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have reached agreement with right-hander Suk-Min Yoon on a three-year, $5.75 million deal.
Yoon was the 2011 MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization. He is purported to have a 93 m.p.h. fastball, a hard slider and what scouts say is an above-average change. In 172 1/3 innings this past season he had 178 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA. Of course, that was in the KBO, and that does not profile as even a Triple-A level league. It’s sort of hard, therefore, to gauge how he’ll do here.
He has been both a starter and a reliever, but it’s not clear how the O’s plan to use him. They may not even know yet.
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.