The Phillies acquired Blue Jays’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly for cash considerations, per a team announcement on Saturday. Right-hander Clay Buchholz will be placed on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot for Kelly on the 40-man roster. Buchholz is rehabbing a torn flexor tendon in his right arm and is still expected to miss the next 4-6 months of the season.
Kelly, 28, has already been designated for assignment twice this season. He was DFA’d by the Mets in early April and claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays, who sent him to Triple-A Buffalo for two games before recalling him on Tuesday. He didn’t come off the bench, however, and was placed on waivers prior to Friday’s game.
The third baseman/outfielder made his major league debut with the Mets in 2016, batting .241/.352/.697 with one home run in 39 games. His track record with their Triple-A squad looked more promising: through 81 games in Triple-A Las Vegas, Kelly slashed .328/.409/.435 with 24 extra bases and an .844 OPS.
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.