Stephen Drew’s asking price: “$9 million to $10 million”

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Stephen Drew has been connected to several teams this offseason despite batting just .162/.237/.299 in 2014 for the Red Sox and Yankees. The Blue Jays, A’s, Cubs, White Sox, Angels, and Astros are among the teams with reported interest in signing him.

But the longtime Scott Boras client hasn’t come close to an actual agreement and that might not change in the near future if Drew doesn’t lower his expectations. From Joel Sherman of the New York Post

A few teams involved with Drew say his asking price of $9 million to $10 million for 2015 is not in their price range. Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, has emphasized the career .764 OPS the lefty swinger took into last season as representative of his client and not the .536 he posted in a disjointed 2014 campaign.

Sherman got this quote from an executive of one of the interested clubs: “Fine, you want to say June and July [last year] were spring training for him, well, how about August or September? There was never a time in which he looked like a major league hitter. The ball didn’t come off his bat well, there was zero consistency. Nothing.”

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.