Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees have claimed David Robertson off revocable waivers. Though Heyman says that no trade talks have taken place, the Yankees and White Sox have until 2 p.m. today to work something out if they choose to. Otherwise, the Sox will pull Robertson back.
The Yankees would likely love a reunion with Robertson, at least if they don’t have to give up much for him. Their former closer has a 2.60 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 71/11 K/BB ratio in 52 innings this season for Chicago and he’d bolster a Yankees pen that has been greatly taxed due to injuries and some ineffectiveness with the rotation. Robertson is not cheap given that he signed a four-year, $46 million free agent contract last winter, so the Sox might at least think about it for a second.
Ultimately, though, it seems unlikely that Chicago would give him up given comments from team brass earlier this season about them continuing to think of themselves as being in the middle of a competitive window that will last a few years rather than being in “aw shucks, time to sell” mode.
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.