The Chicago White Sox have gone out and made a splash, signing free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal. The deal is for four seasons, and $73 million. It is the largest contract the franchise has ever given out, along with that, the team has already announced the signing. The deal will also include full no-trade protection this upcoming season, and limited no-trade protection the last three seasons of the deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
OFFICIAL: The #WhiteSox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $73-million contract with free agent All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal (@YazmanianDVL08). Under terms of the agreement, Grandal will receive $18.25 million per year from 2020-2023. pic.twitter.com/dczzZo8UTE
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) November 21, 2019
This was all planned, going back five years ago when we started this and started thinking about this, we get ourselves in position with our young core and we could augment it with guys like this. Clearly, we’re trying to put ourselves in a window that could very well start next year but extend to the next five to seven years.
Ken Williams – White Sox president
Yasmani Grandal Signed By Chicago
As mentioned, this is the biggest contract in franchise history. However, given the position of the team, it might be worth it.
The White Sox are coming off of a 72-89 season, but they have some very nice young pieces. Pairing a player of Grandal’s quality could help this team take the next step into playoff contention.
Since Grandal went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he has become a dangerous offensive catcher. He only posts a career batting average of .241, but he averages 26 home runs and 77 RBIs per 162 games. On top of that, Grandal posts a .348 on-base percentage. To get to that on-base percentage, Grandal has a 13.9 percent walk rate in his career and is coming off of a career-high 17.2 percent this season.
The downside is Grandal does strike out a lot. For his career, he strikes out 23.5 percent of the time.
Grandal also doesn’t hit a lot of line drives. He’s been pretty even throughout his career in ground-ball and fly-ball rate. So in most ways, Grandal is the modern-day hitter that teams seem to be coveting.
Now the good thing is he is coming off of a season in which he sprayed the ball around more than usual. He hit the ball the opposite way 25.9 percent of the time, which is his best rate since the 2012 season.
Yasmani Grandal is a very strong defensive catcher.
Throughout his career, he has 64 defensive runs saved at the position, although he is coming off of a down season. But the two seasons before that, he had 17 and nine defensive runs saved respectively as a member of the Dodgers.
Where Grandal is not a good defender is first base. Thankfully for the White Sox, Jose Abreu is the first baseman. Also, Grandal will be playing in the American League for the first time in his carer. So when he takes a day off from catching, he can be the designated hitter as opposed to having to play first base to stay in the lineup.
Overall this is a good signing by Chicago. It is a lot of money to commit to a 31-year old catcher, but given the position of the franchise, it’s a good investment. They don’t have a lot of money invested in their younger players, and now they are getting a top-notch defensive catcher.
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