I think the Tigers have solved their shortstop problem

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Their bullpen is still a hot mess, but the Tigers have finally figured out how to live in a post-Jose Iglesias world. After misfiring with Alex Gonzalez and getting way, way less-than-replacement offensive value from Andrew Romine, Eugenio Suarez has been exactly what the doctor ordered.

Suarez went 3 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the Tigers’ 12-9 win over the Twins this afternoon.
He hit a solo homer and RBI double in the Tigers’ seven-run third inning, walked in the fifth inning, and then tripled to right field in the seventh.

So far Suarez is hitting .400/.500/1.000 with three home runs, and eight runs scored through his first eight major league games. Obviously that will fall way the heck off, but in a stretch where so much has gone wrong for the Tigers, they have to be happy something is going right.

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.