Blue Jays get reliever Mark Lowe from Mariners

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Another move for Toronto, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays have acquired reliever Mark Lowe from the Mariners for multiple minor leaguers.

Lowe has bounced around a lot over the years in large part because he’s been injured a lot, but when healthy he’s always had very good raw stuff and strong results. He’s having a career-year this season at age 32, logging 36 innings with a 1.00 ERA and 47/11 K/BB ratio after signing with the Mariners as a minor-league free agent.

He joins the Blue Jays’ bullpen in a setup role, along with the recently acquired LaTroy Hawkins.

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.