The White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal to a contract of four years and $73 million today. The combination of team and timing sounds suspicious, like an auto-generated headline from a video game. But it’s very real. In fact, I’m struggling to decide which of the player, team, and timing merits the most explanation. So let’s cover all three!
Yasmani Grandal might be the best catcher in baseball. I don’t mean this in some hyperbolic way, like when people say “James Paxton might be the best pitcher in baseball when he’s on” or “Lance Lynn might be the best pitcher in baseball as long as you mainly care about sweat.” I mean that Yasmani Grandal might be the best catcher in baseball. He finished second behind J.T. Realmuto in WAR last year, on the back of his typical great defense and on-base skills.
But Grandal’s defensive value is a complicated issue. That prowess I’m referring to is due to his peerless framing skills. He’s one of the best, year in and year out, at presenting pitches to umpires and making sure those in the zone are called as such while expanding the edges to flip counts in his team’s favor.
Turning balls into strikes is tremendously…