Mets set franchise record with eight home runs in blowout win over Phillies

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The Mets celebrated David Wright’s return from the disabled list Monday by setting franchise records with 15 extra-base hits and eight home runs as part of a blowout 16-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. By the way, Wright got the fireworks started by homering in his first at-bat since April 14.

Lost in all of this is that Jacob deGrom had his worst start in the majors, lasting just 2 2/3 innings. The Mets trailed 7-2 after the third inning. However, deGrom picked a good time for an off night, as his offense bailed him out with 14 unanswered runs. Meanwhile, Sean Gilmartin tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to hold the Phillies in check and save the bullpen.

Wilmer Flores hit two home runs, including a go-ahead three-run shot in the fifth inning. Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Cuddyer, Daniel Murphy, and Yoenis Cespedes also went deep. The Phillies hit three home runs of their own, so the two teams combined for 11 home runs, which ties a National League record. It has happened five times, most recently on May 17, 1979 between the Phillies and Cubs.

The Mets are riding high right now. Including their three-game sweep of the Rockies over the weekend, they have scored 49 runs over their last four games. More importantly, they are now a season-high 12 games over .500 at 68-56 and a season-high 5 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals in the National League East.

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.