Freddie Freeman’s MRI must not have gone well

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman’s had an MRI on his sore right wrist yesterday, which has kept him out of action for four straight games. It must not have gone well, as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Freeman did not take the flight to D.C. yesterday with the rest of the team for their series against the Nationals.

Freeman, by far the most important hitter in the Braves’ lineup, is hitting .299/.367/.520 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI on the year. The Braves, despite being at .500 with a negative 13 run differential, are only two games behind Washington, against whom they open up a three-game series tonight. Not having Freeman for the series is a tough blow.

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.