The Chicago White Sox struck big early in the MLB offseason by signing All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year contract.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Grandal is signing a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox and it’s the largest contract in franchise history.
Grandal, a consensus top free agent this offseason, provides Chicago with a massive boost for its lineup and its rotation.
The 31-year-old excelled at the plate in 2019 for the Milwaukee Brewers with a .848 OPS, 28 home runs, 26 doubles. Grandal finished the year second among catchers in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (5.2) and second in wRC+ (121) among catchers with 100-plus games.
For comparison, White Sox catcher James McCann finished the season with a .789 OPS, 18 home runs, 2.3 fWAR and 109 wRC+.
Grandal’s most impactful contributions is his work behind the plate. He rates as one of the best pitch framers in MLB with a 51.1 percent strike rate, according to StatCast. He also ranked second in Baseball Prospectus’ framing runs (19.4), which calculates the number of runs prevented by his framing.
The new deal will make Grandal the third highest-paid catcher in average salary at $18.25 million. Because he signed a one-year deal last offseason, he wasn’t eligible for a qualifying offer this winter and his signing won’t cost Chicago a draft pick.
Given his impact behind the plate and his switch-hitting ability, Grandal’s addition will go a long way to improving the White Sox lineup and rotation.