Paul Goldschmidt ended his 22-game home run drought

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Paul Goldschmidt is still one of the top candidates for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, but the Diamondbacks’ first baseman had been slumping for nearly a month. Since July 28, the day after his most recent home run, and August 21, he had compiled a .647 OPS with only five extra-base hits — four doubles and a triple — in 99 plate appearances.

The slump led some to speculate that Goldschmidt was hiding an injury, but manager Chip Hale shot down that idea, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.

Goldschmidt busted out of his slump early on Saturday against the Reds, drilling a two-run home run to the opposite field against Anthony DeSclafani, pushing his team’s lead to 3-0. Goldschmidt is now sitting on a .329 average, 23 home runs, 91 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases.

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.