Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Jaime Garcia went seven scoreless innings and rookie outfielder Stephen Piscotty hit a pair of RBI singles as the Cardinals bested the Brewers 3-0 on Saturday night at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Garcia now holds a 1.77 ERA through 66 innings (10 starts) this season and the Cardinals’ pitching staff has combined for 36 straight scoreless frames.

They’ve rattled off three shutouts in a row.

St. Louis stands 71-39 with a six-game lead over the Pirates in the National League Central standings. Sunday afternoon’s series finale in Milwaukee pits veteran John Lackey against Jimmy Nelson.

Lackey is sporting the best ERA (2.85) of his illustrious 13-year major league career.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Blue Jays 6, Yankees 0

Astros 1, Athletics 2

Giants 6, Cubs 8

Dodgers 5, Pirates 6

Rangers 11, Mariners 3 (11 innings)

Mets 4, Rays 5

Rockies 1, Nationals 6

Red Sox 6, Tigers 7

White Sox 6, Royals 7

Cardinals 3, Brewers 0

Twins 4, Indians 17

Marlins 2, Braves 7

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 1

Phillies 4, Padres 2

Orioles 5, Angels 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.