Orioles to give Chris Davis some playing time in right field during the spring

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Chris Davis is slated to serve as the Orioles’ everyday first baseman in 2015, but manager Buck Showalter wants the slugger to get some playing time in right field, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. Davis hasn’t played in the outfield since 2012.

Davis missed the last few weeks of the regular season when he was suspended 25 games for using amphetamines — Adderall, specifically. He had also missed some time early in the season with a strained oblique. As a result, he finished with only 26 home runs and 72 RBI, a far cry from the league-leading 53 and 138 from 2013.

Davis can become a free agent after the season. There hasn’t been much in the way of progress regarding an extension thus far, though agent Scott Boras expressed optimism back in December in an Encina report.

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.