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Cardinals place Michael Wacha on injured list

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This was unexpected: the Cardinals have placed starter Michael Wacha on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 19. The reason: left knee patellar tendinitis.

Wacha allowed only two runs over six innings, striking out seven and walking only one in his last start, which came last Wednesday over the Brewers, but he was either pitching through pain or it just flared up late last week.

Drew Robinson — a position player — has been called up from Triple-A Memphis to take Wacha’s place on the roster. A spot starter will take Wacha’s turn tomorrow. Hopefully Wacha will only have to miss one start.

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.