The Chicago White Sox agreed to terms Thursday on a four-year, $73 million contract with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.
FILE PHOTO: Sep 14, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal (10) celebrates after hitting a two run home run off of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tyler Webb (not pictured) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Grandal will receive $18.25 million per season through 2023 on a contract that sets a franchise record for total money.
The two-time All-Star enjoyed a career season with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019, recording personal-best totals in home runs (28), RBIs (77), runs scored (79) and walks (109) to go along with a .246 batting average. Grandal has topped 20 homers in each of the past four seasons.
“My family and I are very excited and honored to be a part of the Chicago White Sox organization,” Grandal said in a statement. “I loved their professionalism, preparation and vision towards the future. I want to thank them for allowing me to be a part of this process moving forward.”
Grandal has batted .241 with 141 homers and 416 RBIs in 879 career games with the San Diego Padres (2012-14), Los Angeles Dodgers (2015-18) and Brewers (2019). He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2015.
“He’s such a quality guy,” White Sox president Ken Williams said of the 31-year-old Grandal, per ESPN. “And for him to understand our messaging, our goals, our path, and to say, ‘I want to be a part of that and I’m going to commit to it early so we can move on to the next thing heading into the winter meetings,’ just shows what kind of character we’re talking about.”
Lauded for his defense, especially with pitch framing, Grandal will set up behind the plate for a pitching staff that finished ninth in the American League in 2019 with a 4.90 ERA. Chicago has an emerging ace in Lucas Giolito, who went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA last season over 29 starts.
James McCann served as the starting catcher last season for the White Sox and was an All-Star for the first time, batting .273 with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs.
Grandal and McCann are expected to share time at catcher and possibly at designated hitter as well, with the White Sox possibly adding a third catcher to the roster. Grandal also has 70 games of experience at first base and can serve as a back up to Jose Abreu there.
To make room for Grandal on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated outfielder Daniel Palka for assignment.
—Field Level Media