Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Carlos Martinez likely wouldn’t have begun the year in the Cardinals’ starting rotation if Jamie Garcia made it out of spring training healthy. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Martinez tossed seven scoreless innings last night in a 3-0 victory over the scuffling Brewers. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits (three of them singles) and a pair of walks while striking out eight batters. As for the offense, Jhonny Peralta and Jason Heyward carried the load by each hitting their second home run of the season.

Through three starts and one relief appearance, Martinez now owns a 1.35 ERA and 21/7 K/BB ratio over 20 innings. We’ve long talked about his breakout potential, but this St. Louis rotation could be very scary if he’s finally putting it together.

The Cardinals have won three straight and now sit at 11-4 on the year while the Brewers have the worst record in the majors at 3-14.

Your Friday box scores:

Cardinals 3, Brewers 0

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5

Braves 0, Phillies 1

Mets 1, Yankees 6

Cubs 7, Reds 3 (11 innings)

Nationals 2, Marlins 3

Indians 13, Tigers 1

Blue Jays 3, Rays 12

Royals 2, White Sox 2 – game suspended in ninth inning, scheduled to resume Saturday

Giants 4, Rockies 6

Rangers 2, Angels 3

Astros 5, Athletics 4 (11 innings)

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 1

Twins 0, Mariners 2

Dodgers 3, Padres 0

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.