And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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source: AP

Latest Standings
Latest Wild Card Standings

Angels 5, Mariners 0; Rangers 6, Athletics 1: With their win and the A’s loss, the Angels clinch the AL West. Anaheim had to wait for the A’s game to end to know if they could celebrate — they watched in the clubhouse — but then they celebrated into the wee hours. They even let a few hundred fans back into the ballpark after the end of the A’s game.

The win came via C.J. Wilson’s seven one-hit innings and C.J. Cron’s three-run shot. The A’s loss came via an ugly ninth inning collapse in which Sean Doolittle allowed five runs in a mere third of an inning. Jesse Chavez allowed another. This after Jeff Samardzija shut out Texas for eight innings on ten strikeouts. It was a total meltdown which epitomized the entire second half meltdown for Oakland. They’re now tied with Kansas City for the wild card. Two ahead of Seattle. They may still make the playoffs, but do they really deserve it? They’ve totally hit rock bottom here.

No question about the Angels, though. They have taken and throttled the AL this year, especially since the break. They have a few bruises and sore parts here and there, but they have a week and a half or so to get that right. Then it’s on to bigger things, they hope.

Apologies for the abbreviated ATH this morning, but I have an early morning doctor appointment. While I’m there I’ll ask my doctor if she has any pamphlets on how to help choking victims and have them Fedexed to Bob Melvin.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 1
Rockies 16, Dodgers 2
Yankees 3, Rays 2
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 2
Braves 3, Nationals 1
Royals 6, White Sox 2
Pirates 9, Red Sox 1
Twins 8, Tigers 4
Marlins 4, Mets 3
Indians 2, Astros 0
Cubs 3, Reds 1
Cardinals 2, Brewers 0
Phillies 5, Padres 2

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.