Report: Padres’ most recent offer to James Shields was between $72-80 million over four years

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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports hears from a source that the most recent offer made by the Padres to free agent starter James Shields was a four-year deal between $72-80 million. The Padres are currently considered the favorites to sign Shields.

Shields, 33, is expected to sign soon. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune suggests his decision could come by Monday.

A four-year deal would take Shields through his age-37 season. Over the past four seasons, he has ranked among the game’s best starters, owning a 3.17 ERA and an 824/235 K/BB ratio over 932 2/3 innings. Only 12 starters (min. 600 innings since 2011) have posted a better ERA.

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.