Shocker: The Mets sign Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal

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We weren’t expecting this:

Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for $21 million.

The general consensus heading into the offseason was that the Mets were interested in Michael Cuddyer up until the point that the Rockies unexpectedly gave him a qualifying offer, which tied first-round pick compensation to him. That seemed like quite a price to pay for a guy who, while good when healthy, has not been healthy. And a guy whose recent offensive value has been pretty closely tied to Coors Field. With the Mets, publicly anyway, backing off of him, it was suspected by many that Cuddyer would be the first player to ever accept a qualifying offer.

Nope. Now the Mets have the corner outfielder they’ve been looking for. One who hit .307 with an .886 OPS in three seasons for the Rockies, but who also missed 206 of a possible 486 games, including playing just 49 games in 2014.

Our D.J. Short — a Mets fan — made a good point on Twitter just now:

Yep. You’ve already lost your draft pick, so don’t bother with half-measures. Go out and get yourself more talent. If you’re singing 36-year-olds, you expect to win now. So go try to win now.

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.