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Gregory Polanco to undergo shoulder surgery

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Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco will undergo shoulder surgery today to destabilize his dislocated left shoulder, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reports. Polanco was shut down over the weekend due to a bone bruise in his left knee suffered on a slide into second base last Friday against the Marlins.

Polanco, 25, had an outstanding year for the Pirates, batting .254/.340/.499 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI, 75 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances. Polanco had been one of baseball’s most highly-touted prospects entering the 2014 campaign but mustered a meager .717 OPS in his first four seasons in the majors.

There is currently no timetable for Polanco’s recovery, but the Pirates should be able to provide that information in the near future.

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.