If the Mets didn’t come calling, Michael Cuddyer would’ve accepted the Rockies qualifying offer

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Newest Met Michael Cuddyer met the press a few moments ago. And he revealed that he didn’t have any intention of testing the free agent market at large:

So he effectively set a 5pm-yesterday deadline on his adventures in the free agent market. The Mets or no one else. Which makes sense, because I don’t feel like there was a big market for a draft-pick-encumbered Michael Cuddyer. The Mets wanted him and got him, but not many other teams would’ve done that.

Which isn’t to hit the Mets too hard here. I know a lot of people are, but really, I can’t get too worked up about them signing him. Yes, the pick is worth a lot and yes Cuddyer is a question mark as far as his health goes. But given how baseball has worked in the past few years — given that teams like the Royals and Mariners and any number of other sub-90 win teams are in contention or actually make the playoffs — it’s not crazy for the Mets to take a gamble. Cuddyer, if healthy, can improve them. Their pitching staff can carry them a long way if things break right over the course of the season. It makes some baseball sense.

Yes, the Mets could regret this. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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.