Settling the Scores: Wednesday’s results

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Sorry it’s not a full ATH today, but this morning is a wonderful morning at Chez Calcaterra. Mookie, the official daughter of HBT, has an orthodontist appointment at 8AM. This one may or may not be the one in which they actually slap the metal on, but the fact is that Mookie needs braces.

Dental plan . . . Mookie needs braces . . . dental plan . . . So Settling the Scores it is.

I can’t let A-Rod’s night go without mention, of course. The venerable one hit a 450+ foot home run in the Yankees 4-3 win over the Orioles. Mark Teixeira hit a homer too. The Yankees likewise got six good innings from Ivan Nova before turning it over to the pen, which Andrew Miller allowing a homer to Chris Davis notwithstanding, has been a strength for New York all year.

Back in March, when I previewed the Yankees, I said that while there were a lot of uncertainties with this team, it wasn’t crazy to expect some improvement from many positions and that if a couple of the old guys bounce back they could be in this thing, especially given how good the pen is. Well, a couple of the old guys bounced back. They could use a starter but are getting just enough pitching. And the pen is the pen. That’s why they’re in first place folks. Everything has come up shiny for them.

Like this:

The rest of the scores:

Dodgers 3, Braves 1
Nationals 4, Mets 3
Reds 9, Cubs 1; Cubs 6, Reds 5
Phillies 5, Rays 4
Indians 7, Brewers 5
Rangers 10, Rockies 8
Giants 7, Padres 1
Tigers 9, Mariners 4
Cardinals 3, White Sox 2
Royals 5, Pirates 1
Astros 4, Red Sox 2
Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 3
Angels 5, Twins 2
Athletics 4, Blue Jays 3

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.