Two weeks ago Francisco Rodriguez was said to be holding out for a two-year contract, which seemed like wishful thinking considering how many other veteran relievers have been settling for cheap one-year deals and even minor-league deals lately.
But sure enough Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Rodriguez has agreed to return to the Brewers on a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s worth $13 million.
Rodriguez has been a good fit with the Brewers, who traded for him once, traded him away once, and have now re-signed him multiple times. Overall in parts of four seasons with Milwaukee he’s got a 3.11 ERA and 204 strikeouts in 168 innings, including 44 saves with a 3.04 ERA last season.
He figures to resume racking up saves this year, with Jonathan Broxton as his primary setup man.
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.