It’s a new (big) dealfor Yasmani Grandal…
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $73 million contract with the 31-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and free-agent All-Star catcher, the team has announced.
“He’s such a quality guy,” White Sox president Ken Williams said of Grandal. “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,’ [it] just shows what kind of character we’re talking about.”
It’s the biggest contract in the history of the White Sox franchise. Grandal will receive $18.25 million per season through 2023.
“There’s a lot of young talent,” Grandal said. “The way I looked at it, this team could be a dark horse in the next year or so.”
Last offseason, Grandal turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers and reportedly declined a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets.
He bet on himself to have a big year. It paid off.
After signing a one-year, $18.25 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, the switch-hitting Grandal posted career highs in homers (28) and RBIs (77) and earned his second All-Star appearance. He walked over 100 times to post a .380 OBP, which ranked first among major league catchers.
He also led all catchers in games played (153) and was second in extra-base hits (56), total bases (240) and RBIs.
Grandal declined to exercise his part of a $16 million mutual option with the Brewers for 2020, with a $2.25 million buyout, so he could again become a free agent.
“Unlike last year around this time, where the market was kind of completely nonexistent, this year was just slightly different,” Grandal said. “It seemed like there were several teams that were working hard within their limits to be able to compete. There were several teams that were really interested. The one thing that kind of stood out the most for me is the White Sox. I love their professionalism, their preparation and the direction of the program.”
General manager Rick Hahn said he met with Grandal at the general managers meetings in Arizona last week and reached an agreement on Wednesday night.
“Exciting day for us around here, being able to add one of the elite talents at a premium position,” Hahn said.
The White Sox went 72-89 in their seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since the 2005 team won the World Series.