Yasmani Grandal Agrees to Four-Year, $73 Million Contract with Chicago White Sox

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.

Yasmani Grandal

“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.

Welington Castillo Signs Lucrative Two-Year Contract with the Chicago White Sox

It’s a big catch for Welington Castillo

The 30-year-old Dominican professional baseball free-agent catcher has agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Welington Castillo

Castillo will make $7.25 million in each of the next two years, and the White Sox have a club option for $8 million for 2020 with a $500,000 buyout.

Castillo, who broke into the majors with the crosstown Chicago Cubs in 2010, hit .282 with 20 homers and 53 RBIs in 96 games with the Baltimore Orioles last season. He also threw out 24 of 49 would-be base stealers for a major league-best 49 percent success rate.

“Adding Welington benefits us both in the short and long term,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He has been one of the more productive catchers over the last several seasons, and we believe his presence will have a lasting positive effect on our younger pitchers and catchers as they continue their development at the major league level.”

Castillo played for White Sox manager Rick Renteria when he skippered the Cubs in 2014.

Avila Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Chicago White Sox

Alex Avila is ready to Sox it to ‘em…

The 28-year-old Cuban American professional baseball play, nicknamed “The Titanium Catcher” for the perception among baseball fans that he’s unusually likely to be hit by foul tips, has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Alex Avila

Avila was limited to 67 games with the Detroit Tigers this past season with a bone bruise in his left knee, batting .191 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

He was an All-Star as recently as 2011, when he also won a Silver Slugger award. He also finished 12th in the American League MVP voting that season.

This past season, White Sox catchers combined to finish ninth in the AL in batting average (.230), 11th in OBP (.293) and 10th in slugging percentage (.376).

“Alex has a tremendous reputation as a leader in the clubhouse,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.

“Obviously he knows the division quite well and provides a nice balance from an offensive standpoint given the left-handed bat and his ability to get on base and provide some power against right-handed pitching.”

The signing forms a reunion of sorts between Avila and White Sox closer David Robertson, who were teammates in 2006 at the University of Alabama. Avila was selected by the Tigers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft and made his major league debut in 2009.

In 683 games over seven seasons, all with the Tigers, Avila has batted .242 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .397 slugging percentage. In 2011, while helping the Tigers to the postseason, he batted .295 with 33 doubles, 19 home runs, 82 RBIs and a .506 slugging percentage.

Avila’s father, Al Avila, is the general manager of the Tigers, having replaced Dave Dombrowski in August.