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Astros activate Carlos Correa from 60-day injured list

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Adam Wexler of KPRC 2 Houston reports that the Astros have activated shortstop Carlos Correa from the 60-day injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Cardinals. Utilityman Tony Kemp has been designated for assignment.

Correa, 24, had been out since late May, when he suffered a fractured rib during a massage. Oddly, he wasn’t the only player to suffer a massage-related injury this season. Jeff Kent and his freshly-washed truck say hi.

Prior to going on the injured list, Correa was on a tear, batting .295/.360/.547 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 214 plate appearances. Alex Bregman and Myles Straw handled shortstop while Correa was absent.

Kemp, 27, hit a solid .227/.308/.417 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 186 PA. He spent a fair amount of time at second base, logging 215 defensive innings there, but also spent time in center and left field. Kemp should draw some interest so don’t be surprised if the Astros swing a trade in the coming days.

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.