So what would the Red Sox look like with Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval?

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The deals are not done yet. Hanley Ramirez is said to be close and Pablo Sandoval is not even signed yet (though some dude claims Sandoval was on his flight to Boston last night; we’re clearly in silly season, folks). And heck, it could be that the Sox went after Ramirez with the notion of giving up on the pursuit of Sandoval. But let us ponder what the 2015 Red Sox look like if both of these highly-sought-after infielders sign in Boston.

Well, for one thing they probably aren’t both infielders anymore. Sandoval would be. He’d be the Red Sox’ Opening Day third baseman and, eventually I presume, their DH once David Ortiz retires. But what of Ramirez? Because the Sox have Xander Bogaerts to play shortstop, and he’ll certainly play it way better than Ramirez can.

You have to figure Ramirez becomes an outfielder. And you have to assume that he’d be the left fielder because, really, isn’t that where you’d be most likely to put a converted infielder? And if Hanley Ramirez is an outfielder some dudes need to be moved. Because at the moment they Red Sox have a lot of outfielders: Mookie Betts. Yoenis Cespedes. Rusney Castillo. Shane Vicotorino. Allen Craig and Daniel Nava are floating around too.

Yoenis Cespedes has been rumored to be on the block already. If both Sandoval and Ramirez were signed he could be traded, either on his own or packaged up somehow with, I dunno, Will Middelbrooks, likely for some much-needed starting pitching. And that, of course, is assuming the Sox don’t also sign Jon Lester which, heck, I suppose they could too. At any rate, they could enter 2015 with a lineup like this:

1. Mookie Betts RF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Hanley Ramirez LF
5. Pablo Sandoval 3B
6. Mike Napoli 1B
7. Xander Bogaerts SS
8. Rusney Castillo CF
9. Christian Vazquez C

That would play. And, you have to figure — assuming they use their cash and thier outfielder surplus to get some pitching — would make the Sox the early favorites in the A.L. East.

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.