This signing is SO BIG for so many reasons, as I said this morning. Checks off multiple boxes both on and off the field. But this is reason A1 why I LOVE this signing:
Yasmani Grandal is one of the best catchers in baseball in terms of receiving the baseball. Now it would be disingenuous of me to say I put a lot of stock in framing statistics. I don't too much at all, personally. I reference them then use my own two eyeballs to let me judge the rest. I feel like there are too many variables to compose an objective statistic with framing; shit like umpires, weather, etc. But when a stat is so wildly skewed one way or the other, like Grandal's framing stats are (in a good way), then you know you have yourself a really good fucking catcher.
This makes the White Sox all the more attractive a destination for another top of the rotation arm. No, I'm not talking about sinking $200MM or more into Cole or Strasburg. But everyone and their mother knows that Zack Wheeler makes so much sense in every single way. Won't have to completely break out the bank for him, his shit is ++ and it looks as if his arm is finally fully healthy after being shaky in that realm early in his career as he was growing as a starting pitcher.
But back to Grandal - as I said, it checks off one box. With his signing, it looks as if Seby Zavala and/or Zack Collins will be the odd man out. Collins would still be a nice 2nd piece in a trade, and one or both could be on the move now that there's no direct path to them getting consistent playing time in Chicago in 2020. For Collins, right now it'd be as the 26th man at best.
As far as James McCann? He takes his place as a GREAT backup catcher, one the staff loves working with, and a player that will get around 350-400 plate appearances while spelling Grandal behind the plate and whoever else at DH 3-4x a week. McCann was awesome last year, but tailed off big time in the 2nd half. That said, the White Sox now arguably have the best catching tandem in baseball. Two all stars who are fantastic with pitchers behind the plate? Yes please.
UPDATED 2020 LINEUP
- Robert CF
- Moncada 3B
- Grandal C
- Eloy LF
- Abreu 1B
6. DH trade/free agent
- RF trade/free agent
- Anderson SS
- Madrigal 2B
That's how I'd set it up once service times are met and all that shit come mid-April. Oh, and if the Sox do land Wheeler, then come May their rotation could look like this:
- free agent/trade/Lopez
And that's with Rodon, Dunning and Lambert all returning around then as well. This is about to get REALLY fun for Sox fans.