Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Yankees and starter CC Sabathia have agreed to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the deal is for $8 million. Sabathia didn’t want to search around as a free agent. Instead, he preferred to get something done quickly with the Yankees.
Sabathia, 38, had another solid season for the Yankees in 2018, finishing with a 3.65 ERA and a 140/51 K/BB ratio in 153 innings. In his only postseason start, he gave up three runs in three innings to the Red Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS.
The Yankees are supposedly on the hunt for plenty of starting pitching depth to back up Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. The club may also trade Sonny Gray. For now, Sabathia will slot into the middle of the rotation.
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.