Derek Holland leaves start after one inning with shoulder injury

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Derek Holland, who missed most of last season recovering from knee surgery and struggled with shoulder problems this spring, exited his first start of the season after one inning today with what the Rangers are calling “shoulder tightness.”

For now they’re saying it’s not in the same area where Holland experienced soreness during spring training, but obviously shoulder problems then and shoulder problems now make for a lot of worry.

Holland pitched very well down the stretch last year once he was finally able to return from knee surgery, posting a 1.46 ERA in 37 innings, and the 28-year-old left-hander has a 40-21 record with a 3.83 ERA since 2011.

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.