Tim Lincecum’s career with the Giants is likely over

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Giants general manager Bobby Evans revealed during a radio interview that Tim Lincecum has been ruled out for the remainder of the season following a setback in his recovery from a hip injury.

Evans told KNBR in San Francisco (via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that Lincecum got a second opinion from a specialist and is facing surgery.

Lincecum is in the final season of his contract and Schulman writes that the injury “almost certainly signals the end of Lincecum’s career in San Francisco.”

Lincecum last pitched in late June, finishing the season with a 4.13 ERA and 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 innings over 15 starts. His velocity, strikeout rate, and overall performance have been in decline for several years, leaving the two-time Cy Young winner looking like more of a back-of-the-rotation starter despite being just 31 years old.

He hasn’t posted an ERA below 4.00 since 2011, going 39-42 with a 4.68 ERA in 616 total innings during that time. By comparison, Lincecum had a 2.98 ERA in 1,028 innings from 2007-2011.

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.