Andrew Bailey not expected to pitch for the Yankees this season

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The Yankees gave oft-injured reliever Andrew Bailey an incentive-laden minor league contract over the winter on the chance that he would be able to contribute in the bullpen before the end of this season, but it’s not going to work out that way.

According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said today that Bailey has had “setbacks” after major shoulder surgery and is not expected to pitch in the majors this season. The 30-year-old underwent surgery last July to repair a torn labrum and a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder and was non-tendered by the Red Sox in December before latching on with the Yankees. The exact nature of the “setbacks” aren’t known.

Bailey has been an effective reliever when healthy during his career, so it was a worthwhile gamble for the Yankees, but anything they got out of him would have been considered a bonus given the serious nature of the surgery. The two-time All-Star has appeared in just 49 games since the start of 2012.

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.