There will be no Yasmani Grandal reunion with the Cincinnati Reds this winter.
In a move that nobody saw coming - seriously, the Chicago White Sox broke the news themselves on Twitter - Grandal, easily the top free agent catcher on the market, inked a 4-year, $73 million contract with the pale hose early Thursday, apparently.
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
Grandal, of course, was a former 1st round pick of the Reds before being dealt to San Diego in the Mat Latos deal of yesteryear, and has since blossomed into a true two-way threat behind the plate. He can sock dingers from both sides of the plate, is a master of the strike zone with the bat in his hand, and also consistenly grades out as one of the elite pitch-framers in the game. In other words, he’d be the perfect fit for a Reds offseason which needed to augment its offense while not harming its defense.
So much for that idea. And yes, it was an idea, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan relayed:
The catching market is moving and moving fast. The Cincinnati Reds were in on Yasmani Grandal as well. He was clearly the best of the group -- and ultimately did well to turn down the Mets' four-year offer last year, get $18.25M from Milwaukee and now get $73M from the White Sox.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
It’s weird, admittedly, to even be in a position to be frustrated by the Reds missing out on free agent targets, since all they’ve done my entire adult life is avoid the free agent market like the plague. But with the insistence from the front office publicly that they have money to spend this winter with a goal, if not mandate, to make the playoffs in 2020, it’s hard to see perceived perfect fits sign elsewhere, even for a deal that would rank as the richest free agent contract in Reds history.
On to the next target, I suppose!