It’s a good thing that Jeff Francoeur got called up by the Padres, because at the rate he was going his Triple-A teammates in El Paso were gonna kill him.
You’ll recall that Francoeur was the victim of a long-form prank back in April when the El Paso Chihuahuas pretended that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf and Francouer fell for it. Which, I dunno, seemed like maybe he was just being a nice sensitive guy, but let’s call it a clever prank anyway.
This time there was no cleverness about it. The Chihuahuas just up and locked him in a bathroom for an hour. This time he probably had it coming as he used the coach’s bathroom and that’s against the rules. His manager made a good point: “he wouldn’t use Bobby Cox’s bathroom, he’s not gonna use mine.”
Francoeur eventually escaped through the ceiling. And his teammates taped it all:
No on to San Diego. Where he can get some peace and quiet.
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.