Mike Yastrzemski
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Giants call up Mike Yastrzemski

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The Giants called up minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski in advance of their game against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. The grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, Mike was acquired by the the club in March in a trade for right-hander Tyler Herb. In a corresponding move, struggling outfielder Mac Williamson has been designated for assignment.

It’s been a long road to the Show for 28-year-old Yastrzemski, who has ping-ponged between Double-A and Triple-A for the last three years without turning in the kind of consistent numbers needed to graduate to the majors. Since his arrival in Triple-A Sacramento this spring, however, he’s batted an encouraging .316/.414/.676 line with 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and a 1.090 OPS across 163 plate appearances. He’ll start in left field for his MLB debut.

Given his recent performance, Yastrzemski certainly seems capable of delivering the kind of offensive contribution the Giants are in desperate need of; following a devastating 18-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday, they hold the second-lowest winning percentage in the National League and fourth-lowest overall. Per FanGraphs, their offense also ranks third-worst in the NL with a collective .219 average and 2.1 fWAR.

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.