Giancarlo Stanton says “the fire is not there” with Marlins

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After dropping back-to-back games to the Mets, the Marlins are now off to a disappointing 3-8 start this season. There’s still a long way to go, but Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com after last night’s loss that he’s not happy with what he’s seeing so far:

“We’re not really giving ourselves a chance, it feels like,” Stanton said. “We’ve got a positive vibe, but [something] is just not there. The fire is not there, it seems like. You always want to have it. But when you’re out there, and it’s game time, it’s just nothing there — it seems like.”

Miami has dropped the first two of four to the red-hot Mets, winners of six straight. After each of Stanton’s first-inning homers, the Mets each night seized momentum in the mid to late innings.

“The game is nine innings,” Stanton said. “It’s not two, three. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fifth through the seventh, or the seventh through the ninth. It’s not two innings, it’s nine. We’re not playing nine.”

The Marlins managed to lock up Stanton to a massive long-term deal over the winter while making some high-profile additions like Dee Gordon, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Martin Prado, and Michael Morse. The offseason activity made them a trendy pick for a Wild Card spot with many pundits, but Latos is off to a rough start and Henderson Alvarez is currently sidelined with shoulder inflammation, so their rotation looks shaky at the moment. Jose Fernandez is due to back at some point later this season, but it’s hard to know what to expect from someone coming back from Tommy John surgery.

Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Marlins this weekend, as they are slated to face Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey over the next two days.

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.