NL All-Star voting update: Changes in the outfield and at third base

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The latest update in the National League All-Star balloting was released earlier this evening and there are some significant changes from last week.

Perhaps the biggest one is that NL home run and RBI leader Giancarlo Stanton has dropped to fourth in the voting among outfielders. He has flipped-flopped with Carlos Gomez. Meanwhile, Aramis Ramirez has jumped over David Wright to take the lead at third base. It’s still a very close vote at the position, with Pablo Sandoval nipping at their heels.

Jonathan Lucroy, with the help of the Brewers’ recent “attack ad” against Yadier Molina, has made a big move to pass Buster Posey for second among catchers. However, he still has some work to do to pass Molina.

Check out the full update below:

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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.