Corey Kluber strikes out 18 batters over eight scoreless innings against the Cardinals

47 Comments

Some history happened Wednesday in Cleveland.

Indians right-hander Corey Kluber struck out 18 batters, walked none, and yielded just one hit over eight scoreless innings as the Tribe beat the visiting Cardinals by a score of 2-0. The first (and only) hit for St. Louis came in the top of the seventh inning, when Jhonny Peralta singled up the middle. Kluber was pulled before the ninth with a pitch count of 113.

Cody Allen finished the shutout with a perfect ninth.

Kluber entered play Wednesday with a 5.04 season ERA, but it was only a matter of time before the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner got going. Some notes on his outing …

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

Getty Images
5 Comments

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.