UPDATE: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Duda has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
10:08 a.m. ET: The Mets offense exploded for 14 runs on 16 hits last night against the Rockies, most of it coming from Yoenis Cespedes, but an important part of their lineup could be headed for the disabled list.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Lucas Duda was forced to exit last night’s game in the seventh inning with renewed lower back pain. He missed six starts with the injury earlier this month, but managed to avoid a stint on the disabled list. Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game that they’ll make a decision on his status on Saturday.
The Mets were planning to send down Michael Conforto on Saturday to make room for reliever Dario Alvarez, but the rookie outfielder could stick around if Duda needs to go on the disabled list. Daniel Murphy and Michael Cuddyer figure to see time at first base in his absence.
Duda, 29, is batting .247 with 21 home runs and an .818 OPS over 113 games this season.
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.