Seby Zavala creates a White Sox catcher crunch, unless Yasmani Grandal isn’t one

Yasmani Grandal’s renowned batting eye had been undermined by problems with his lower half, because apparently two knee surgeries in a calendar shouldn’t be undersold when the subject spends half his time squatting. He hit .185/.294/.237 before back spasms/leg issues put him on the shelf last month, and the slugging percentage informs the OBP. It turns out that pitchers are less afraid to challenge one of baseball’s slowest players when he’s only good for an extra-base hit every 10 games.

The numbers from his first nine games rehabbing shows that he’s still as selective when the pitching is less precise. He’s hitting .360/.579/.600 with 13 walks against four strikeouts over 38 plate appearances. He’s also popped a couple of homers — one for Birmingham, one for Charlotte — which is probably more indicative of his impact upon returning than drawing walks against non-MLB pitching.

While Grandal’s been in the lineup just about every day, he’s barely caught. He’s been behind the plate for just 19 innings, moving from catcher to first after five, seven and seven innings in the three games he started there.

It’s hard to tell if this is reflective of Grandal’s condition the rest of the way, or if the White Sox are merely slow-rolling Grandal’s rehab stint in order to preserve a catching order that has worked out pretty well for them.

Surprisingly, the tandem of Seby Zavala and Reese McGuire has held its own since Grandal exited the game on June 11. What’s more, Zavala has started the bulk of the games.

PlayerPAH2B3BHRRBIBBKBAOBPSLG
Zavala932470215628.286.337.440
McGuire56125002215.235.278.333
Total14936120217843.267.315.440

Zavala’s production at the plate has been a pleasant surprise, although a 3-for-22 slump heading into the break reflects life with a 30-percent strikeout rate.

The defensive improvement is a better indicator of his ability to hold an MLB job. Zavala received well enough last year, but it wasn’t enough to offset massive struggles with blocking and throwing. This time around, the framing is now top-20 stuff, and he’s patched the holes elsewhere. Here’s how his Called Strikes Above Average compares, along with the passed balls and wild pitches when extrapolated to match 2021’s innings total.

YearInnCSAASB/CSPBWP
2021268.00424/3715
2022185.0168/306

He’s graded out a little better than McGuire in the receiving stats, with McGuire possessing the better throwing numbers. It’s probably not worth getting that granular over a partial season of data, but it backs up the general sense that Zavala is a lot sounder than he was when sharing time with Zack Collins last year.

Zavala is out of options, and since he’s already been outrighted once, he could choose to go elsewhere even if he cleared waivers (he wouldn’t). McGuire is also out of options, which is the reason why he was available in spring training for the stomachable price of Collins.

If Grandal is more physically capable than he was before his IL stint, then he gives the White Sox a left-handed bat their lineup sorely needs. There just isn’t an easy way to accommodate him. Either they risk losing a catcher who’s meeting/exceeding expectations when Grandal might not be the best bet to last the rest of the season, or they add to their teeming logjam at DH/first base.

Option 1: DFA Zavala

The case for: He’s a year and a half older than McGuire, his strikeout rate has cleared 30 percent at both Triple-A and the MLB levels in each of the last three seasons, and the defensive improvements could be a small-sample success. He could also just be healthier than ever after having some recurring wrist issues, which is another way to say he could get hurt again.

The case against: The White Sox are 13-7 when he starts, with the equal-to-McGuire defensive stats also showing up in the pitcher performance categories. His righty bat is a better complement if Grandal is able to generate more torque with his left-handed swing this time around, although he’s done most of his damage against righties so far. He won’t be arb-eligible for at least one more season, so he saves the White Sox a little bit of money going forward.

Option 2: DFA McGuire

The case for: As his sample sizes have grown larger, his production has dropped off:

  • 2018: 33 PA, 146 OPS+
  • 2019: 105 PA, 130 OPS+
  • 2021: 217 PA, 78 OPS+
  • 2022: 160 PA, 58 OPS+

He’s yet to homer for the White Sox, and he’s only had one close call, so it’s hard to see where any impact contact is going to come from. He’s hitting righties better than Grandal did, but not in a way that resonates (.252/.289/.311). He’s been as advertised defensively, but Zavala just happened to improve. Collins has been a non-factor for the Blue Jays, so a half-season of positive defensive contributions probably means the Sox got their money worth. He’s probably more likely to slip through waivers, but there’s a catching shortage across baseball.

The case against: The scars of the Collins/Zavala pairing last season are a little too fresh, and should Grandal have to go back on the IL, McGuire and Zavala make a lot more sense as a tandem than Zavala and Carlos Pérez, who’s having a tough July. He’s also been healthier than Zavala over his careers, so he’s better ballast against general positional injury risk.

OPTION 3: Carry three catchers

This may already be the way they’re heading given Grandal’s gentle workload and Tony La Russa’s comment late last week.

“Especially when we get [Yasmani Grandal] back, you look at the composition of our roster, it’s pretty tough to lock up the DH spot,” said La Russa, who divides the DH spot among corner outfielders Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets and first baseman Jose Abreu and will want to use Grandal, his No. 1 catcher, in that mix when he returns from the injured list after the All-Star break.

It’s possible, even if it’s inelegant. The cleanest swap on a healthy roster would have Grandal taking Sheets’ roster spot, with Eloy Jiménez, Vaughn and AJ Pollock rotating in the corners, Adam Engel picking up more time in right, and Leury García providing the bench cover.

But there are a whole bunch of questions independent of Grandal’s own condition.

Would replacing Sheets be robbing Peter to pay Paul? This was easier to answer in the affirmative before Sheets finished the first half in a 1-for-20 slump. Sheets is the easiest to shuttle back down and back up if things don’t look right for one reason or another. (This question may also be irrelevant given the following issues.)

How much outfield can Vaughn or Jiménez play? Vaughn has only played outfield twice in the last month due to vague leg. Jiménez had taken the starts in left upon returning, but then he had a relapse of tightness in his surgically repaired leg, and he missed the whole Minnesota series.

How much outfield can Luis Robert play? Robert departed early during Friday’s game in Minnesota with lightheadedness. There wasn’t much in the way of specifics, except that La Russa made it sound like Jiménez was more likely to appear, and neither one did. Robert is supposed to see a specialist during the All-Star break, but if this condition is open-ended like vertigo and lingers into the second half, then Engel is going to be needed to handle the bulk of the duties in center.

Given all the uncertainty, maybe Robert or Jiménez goes on the IL, Grandal takes that spot, and the outfield picture rests an uncomfortable amount on a second-half surge by Pollock.. At least there’s a logical consistency, what with Pollock being Rick Hahn’s biggest move in addressing the lineup during the winter. He’ll have to dance with who he came to the dance with, unless or until the trade deadline offers the possibility of new partners.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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lifelongjd

Tough call either way, but I think you’re more likely to get McGuire through waivers. He’s also the more redundant player with Yas. Zavala has been such a pleasant surprise, both last year and this.

The roster construction of this team is so limited. It’s like a slow pitch softball team. I don’t see Yas catching on a daily basis and that means he’s taking at bats away from Vaughn or Sheets, which doesn’t sound like an upgrade.

HallofFrank

They should at least call around and see what they could get in a trade for Seby or McGuire. It’s not going to be much. But if they could get a random A ball prospect or even a left-landed long reliever, that’d probably be a good idea.

If they do carry three catchers, do we just move the chances that Carlos Perez gets traded for a reliever at the deadline to 100%?

soxygen

I think a major league caliber glove-first catcher (ie solid backup option) is more valuable than a random a-ball player…and in my opinion it isn’t close

HallofFrank

Well, you changed what I said. I said a “random A ball prospect,” which is different than a random player. For reference, I’d say that’s something like a 35+ or 40 FV player. But they won’t get more than that.

soxygen

Fair enough.

asinwreck

La Russa has a history of liking a three-catcher roster. Putting aside his first year and a half when the team didn’t really have a starting quality receiver (Bruce Kimm was the only receiver on the 1980 roster to get in 100 games, and the rest are good answers to one of Ted’s quizzes), he went into 1981 with Carlton Fisk, Jim Essian, and Marc Hill. Some of that can be explained by Bill Veeck signing Essian and then Einhorn and Reinsdorf landing Fisk during spring training.

The next year, Essian went to Seattle in the Tom Paciorek deal, and the Sox carried Marv Foley to sit on the bench behind Fisk and Hill all season even though Fisk had entered the healthy and durable portion of his career.

When he went to Oakland, La Russa tried to be a little more flexible with his bench by employing jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none Jamie Quirk, and later, Scott Hemond. (For Sox fans utterly annoyed by the ways La Russa uses Leury Garcia, his putting Hemond out at various positions day after day to ground weakly to shortstop will seem very familiar.) I would not be at all surprised to see a three-headed monster behind the plate for the rest of the season even with the Sox carrying 74 relievers.

Last edited 4 months ago by asinwreck
ParisSox

The mention of Marc Hill sent me searching for his greatest career moment when he hit a pinch hit double in a walkoff, comeback win after a long rain delay. I haven’t found the box score yet, but I did find this 25 inning gem.

Check out the 9th inning and 21st inning – https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA198405080.shtml

I’ll find that great Marc Hill moment.

ParisSox

here it is. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHA/CHA198309100.shtml

September 10, 1983 v. the California Angels. Bottom of the 9th, Sox down 6-1. They start a comeback and got the score to 6-4 before the rains came. Felt like a very long rain delay – hour or hour and a half maybe? I’d guess a couple of thousand people at the most stayed for the rest of the game.

Just after the delay, Marc Hill pinch hits for Mike Squires (and we think oh no! we stayed all the way through the rain for this?) and bashes a double to CF scoring Paciorek and Law to tie the game. I’d never seen my dad literally jump for joy until that moment.

Baines struck out to end the 9th and send it to extras. But he made up for it with a two-out walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th.

Footnote: Marc Hill had a total of 6 doubles and 11 RBIs in 1983.

Last edited 4 months ago by ParisSox
HallofFrank

It’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about a roster crunch at DH.

Yolmer's gatorade

Is Reese McGuire really valueless on the trade market? I think he can help a rebuilding team maintain respectability at catcher for a year or two. McGuire, Jose Ruiz, and a couple of mid level prospects to the Cubs for David Robertson and Mychael Givins? It gives the Cubs sole prospect depth and helps them avoid 100 losses this season. Sox get a couple of decent middle innings guys.

Last edited 4 months ago by Yolmer's gatorade
phillyd

I would be surprised if he could bring anything useful back by himself considering the only thing the Sox had to give up was Zach Collins and McGuire hasn’t shown anything this year suggesting he is worth more than that.

soxfan

Fangraphs has Savala as the 19th most valuable catcher in the league and Reese as the 32nd most valuable, although neither of them has enough PAs to technically qualify as league leaders. As Jim says, “there’s a catching shortage across baseball” and presumably some NL team would like to have a playable backup that they don’t currently feel like they have. I wouldn’t expect to get much for either Savala or McGuire, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to find them had some value as long as the Sox carry three long enough to convince teams they’re not getting either for free.

phillyd

The trade deadline is in 2 weeks and using BP’s numbers McGuire is the 51st most valuable catcher this year. Either metric paints him as a back-up and any valuable reliever would fetch a better return before the trade deadline. I still would be surprised to get a major league piece of any value for him. I am in the camp of keep all of them and figure out how to make it work.

Yolmer's gatorade

I wasn’t suggesting that McGuire himself could get a valuable reliever, but McGuire plus a mid level prospect is worth a valuable reliever. I would’ve preferred to ride out the Sox rebuild with a McGuire type than Wellington Castillo. His defense and handling of the staff would keep a rebuilding team like the Cubs from falling off the deep end at the catcher position.

texag10

That was spring training though. Everyone thought they had their rosters relatively set back then. Hell, a good portion of us thought that RF was solved back then and now here we are.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t think you can risk giving up either catcher at this point with the uncertainty surrounding Grandal’s ability to catch regularly or stay healthy. For now I think you send down Sheets and carry three catchers.

As Cirensica

I think this is the best solution. At least temporarily until the players make the decision easier themselves or Hahn finds a taker for any of the catchers for something useful (a reliever?) or wait it out until the roster expands.

Having said that. This does not solve the problem next year.

HallofFrank

This probably is the right call because they can afford to be without Sheets for a bit. But it does feel strange to prioritize a 3rd catcher over the starting DH and 5th/6th hitter, especially given the state of the offense and that the Sox have another catcher in AAA that looks capable of holding down a backup spot.

gibby32

I agree, but it only works if two of the catchers will be in the lineup, say, 50-60% of the time. That is, it only works if Grandal is the DH a high percentage of the time. It would not work to consistently have two catchers, with little to no positional flexibility, as two of your four bench players in a given game. Having said that, this is only a problem for six weeks before the rosters expand. There are candidates to go on the IL (including the catchers), which would alleviate the problem, albeit causing a different problem. I suspect that they will find a way to keep all three, and they should. With respect to that, could the White Sox cut a deal with Zavala to pay him a pro rated 1M, whether in Chicago or Charlotte? If possible, it would make sense to have a major league ready catcher available at AAA.

snoopy369

No, they would have to pass him through waivers first. Once they did, if he went unclaimed, then yes, they could renegotiate the contract (though I don’t know the rules on split contracts, there may be limits to how they work).

However, there’s nearly a 0% chance either Reese or Seby makes it through waivers – in particular Seby.

gibby32

Thanks. I should have known that. By the way, I wasn’t intentionally suggesting a split contract, as in the NBA, although I guess that might be the consequence. Rather, I was suggesting compensating Grandal at a high level for a minor league player in order to keep him in the organization over the short term as roster protection.

tommytwonines

You gotta dance with the one that brung ya… unless they have vertigo.

Last edited 4 months ago by tommytwonines
Willardmarshall

Lots of talk about Collins’s efforts to up his defense, but it seems to have been Zavala who quietly pulled it off….

yinkadoubledare

and a 30% K rate is actually an improvement off of last year too. he’s got enough pop that if he is in the 25-30% K rate and his defensive improvement is real, he’s very much someone to keep.

AdamH

Considering Grandal’s injury issues, guessing they just keep both around but if not, feel like some team would give up a reliever with an option left for either McGuire or Seby. They’re both too competent at a position of scarcity to just be DFA’d (I would think). I’d drop down Sheets or IL one of the OF’s until a trade is complete if you have to, but I don’t think you can justify dropping either one of them outright looking around at the rest of the league’s catching situations.

#3 for HOF

I would have each catcher come up with a mysterious ailment and rotate them on the 10 day DL until you know What you have with Grandal.

dongutteridge

I prefer the alternating of Robert and Jimenez on the IL.

Jimenez is the most redundant player and can’t be counted on.

I’d rather have Yas on the team DHing most days.

WestEddy

I’m sure TLR isn’t above having Seby take grounders at 2nd. Option Sheets to get his bat straightened out, again, and carry 3 catchers. Unless we’re way wrong, and somebody sees Zavala as their starting catcher neither he nor McGuire brings back anything beyond a scratch-off that’s been scratched off.

AdamH

A 2nd catcher is still a useful roster piece .. neither needs to be a starter to have positive value in a trade.

soxygen

Right. Another thing about good backup catchers is that there can be a difference between what you will get in a trade for those guys on the one hand and how hard it is to replace them on the other…

soxygen

The idea of trading either McGuire or Zavala rests on an assumption that Grandal can regularly play catcher. The last two years would seem to indicate otherwise.

Given Grandal’s salary we really need him to show he can produce this year, and optioning Sheets provides the time needed for him to re-establish some value and for the team to make some other critical decisions such as whether to re-sign Abreu. I think it would be a huge mistake to give up on either McGuire or Zavala now – if Grandal is healthy for the remainder of the season, the Sox should revisit this decision in the off-season.

MrStealYoBase

The only thing I can say for certain is that no matter what they do with the roster before August 2nd, it will not affect Leury Garcia’s playing time in any meaningful way.

Chris

Spot on and so sad… TLR will continue to trot of Garcia everyday.

upnorthsox

I’m waiting for the Davis Martin, Seby Zavala, Lenyn Sosa for Frankie Montas trade to happen so we can watch Martin turn into Chris Bassitt, Seby into Josh Phegley, and Sosa into Marcus Semien while Montas does his best Jeff Samardzija impersonation.

texag10

Well if Zavala is Phegley, his one good year is happening right now so we would want to trade him now and let him crater somewhere else.

upnorthsox

Josh Phegley spent 5 years on the A’s roster which is longer than any Sox catcher since Tyler Flowers and was certainly of value to the A’s. Heck, that’s more value than Samardzija was straight up.

Joliet Orange Sox

Phegley didn’t do much for the A’s after that first year in Oakland. Phegley had an ok year for the A’s in 2015 (1.7 bWAR) but the next four were nothing much (0.2 bWAR, 0.0 bWAR, 0.2 bWAR, 0.3 bWAR). For comparison, Shark’s bad 2015 for the Sox was 0.3 bWAR and Seby and Reese McGuire have each produced 0.6 bWAR this year.

The Shark trade was awful but Phegley wasn’t the reason it was awful. He was what the Sox thought he was – a poor defensive catcher who didn’t hit much.

SocksO’Graham

Good Lord no!!! The “Shark” what a joke. Why did you have to remind me??!! That is a great post though.

calcetinesblancos

It’s hard to imagine a more White Sox trade than trading promising/useful young players for an ok starting pitcher that they themselves traded away when he was young.

upnorthsox

It’s a circle of Sox life kind of thing. We eventually trade for the used up player we traded away for the used up player.
We even do it for managers now….

calcetinesblancos

Might as well bring back Hawk while we’re at it; now that he’s even older (and probably even angrier) he’d fit right in.

upnorthsox

Nah, John Rooney. We haven’t won a World Series since he left.

ParisSox

John Rooney will always have a place here

calcetinesblancos

I really like our current catching tandem, and as others have said, relying on Grandal to stay off the IL the rest of the season would be insane. And even if the results aren’t great, I usually like McGuire’s at-bats.

I’m also reminded of what Seby did at the Field of Dreams game when the pressure was on and the entire world seemed to be watching: a homer and a walk, with the BB being in the bottom of the ninth, setting up the TA walk-off.

soxygen

Also, I Iistened to an interview with Giolito recently in which he was extolling Seby’s game-calling. He mentioned that Seby did a good job reading the hitters, figuring out what they were trying to do, and calling pitches to neutralize that. I have always had the impression that the pitching staff loves having him behind the plate.

calcetinesblancos

Anytime a catcher makes the pitchers comfortable it’s a good thing.

vince

Whenever a player on a team I follow has vertigo-like symptoms, I think back to Bryan Bickell who dealt with vertigo for years and eventually turned out to be diagnosed with MS.

murphyra3

As a catcher with knee problems in 2 consecutive years and at this stage in his contract/career, there’s no reason to put Yaz behind the plate anymore. The best version of him is one where he’s getting consistent at bats with fresh legs and that can’t happen if he’s on the shelf. I think the Sox should rotate him at DH/1B once healthy for the rest of the year and sign a starting caliber C for 2023 that mashes RHP or bring up Carlos Perez to fill that role. Assuming perfect health for Yaz now is as foolish as expecting Eloy to play a full season without injuring himself.

yinkadoubledare

Oh, there’s a very good reason to have Yas catching – having his bat at the catcher spot while still being able to play both Abreu and Vaughn (who is the worst of the 1B/DH bunch in the OF) at 1B and DH. But I agree that they can’t give him a starting catcher workload behind the plate in the regular season, they should assume he cannot handle it. Carry three catchers for now, get to the postseason and ride him harder there, then figure out your plan going forward in the offseason.

soxygen

Vaughn can play RF. It isn’t ideal, but we certainly don’t need to be building a lineup based on Eloy and Pollock both being in the lineup. CF is “we’ll see, maybe Engel and maybe Robert”, LF is whoever is healthy and needs at bats, RF is Vaughn, 1B is Abreu, and DH is Yaz…

yinkadoubledare

He can play right, much in the way that Dallas Keuchel could start every fifth game. He’s been the worst defensive outfielder in the league this year by OAA despite only being in the outfield for about half his games played. They need his bat in the lineup but every game they can avoid putting him in the outfield is going to be a positive. Eloy and Vaughn in the corners is a disaster they should probably only attempt, if at all, when Cease (who strikes out guys for like half his outs) is on the mound.

a-t

I wonder how much of Robert’s dreadful defensive numbers have to do with how bad the corner OFs have been. Defenders will get dinged for not making plays when they’re the closest to the ball; Vaughn, Sheets, and to a lesser degree Eloy and Pollock are just not at all good out there, so if Robert is closer to something that drops… he gets dinged for being fast with lead-footed teammates next to him.

Vice versa, really rangy defenders will make their teammates look great. Until some recent adjustments to account for this, Semien’s huge defense improvements at SS in Oakland was in large part from playing next to Chapman’s 80 glove at 3B.

Joliet Orange Sox

You casually assert that Eloy is not as bad as Vaughn in the outfield. I agree completely. I think that says all that needs to be said about Vaughn in the OF.

soxygen

Also, Vaughn can play right in much the same way that Sheets can hit or (most of the time) Grandal can catch. Grandal’s defense is 3rd best among the three catchers this year. We don’t need him to catch, but we do need to pay him a lot of money. I’d rather just take it easy on those knees because Gavin Sheets’ being on the active roster in 2022 is just not very important to this team’s success. We’ll see what direction the front office goes.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
shaggy65

OPTION 4: TRADE FOR A CATCHER WITH A REMAINING OPTION

Toronto is carrying some guy named Collins on their major league roster. Perhaps they’d see someone like McGuire as an upgrade?

David

Are there ANY teams that currently carry three catchers?

NDSox12

If you still count Zack Collins as a C, the Blue Jays currently have three. Also the Diamondbacks, but Daulton Varsho plays more OF than C.

upnorthsox

Now if the Dbacks want to trade Varsho for Seby…….

soxygen

This framing kind of assumes that Grandal is a catcher in 2022, which is not entirely clear.

Another interesting question is how many teams are currently carrying 3 guys who, at some point in their major league careers, have played catcher.

I looked into this once earlier this year and it was a handful. Obviously, most of the time when a catcher stops playing catcher (because of defense of injury issues) they end up at 1B or DH.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
Root Cause

I would try to move Grandal. To keep him healthy, he has to play 1st or DH most of the time which is already crowded. Eating part of his paycheck sux but trading away youth is worse. I would be more interested in keeping him if I knew Abreu was moving to another team or position within the org.

peanutsNcrackerjack

This is not the time to DFA either of the decent healthy catchers. With the IL revolving door that has plagued the White Sox, there will be plenty of opportunities to keep them active.

snoopy369

I say this as a huge fan of Grandal, but… Option 4 (DFA Grandal when healthy) seems worth considering.

He can’t hit, he can’t catch. What exactly can he do? I know he’s expensive, but it’s not like the money is going to exist one way or the other. Unless you can find someone to take him in a trade, it seems like an unfortunate result to his signing, but sort of the risk you take when spending money on the C position.

Maybe it’s just the small sample size speaking, and he’ll return to his 120 OPS+ days… but the 54 OPS+ he carries right now is not on exactly a small sample size (200 PAs). Maybe he’s been playing hurt this whole time and it’s affecting his bat…

a-t

This is silly. The guy was obviously not physically right and the Sox were stupid to keep playing him as long as they did. He has 3900 PA of 120 wRC+ and you think the compromised-health 200 PA is what represents him? He needs the power for the offensive profile to work, and the homers he’s popped in rehab are indications that it’s back.

soxygen

Right, and we can reasonably expect Grandal to not be a drop off from Sheets offensively. There isn’t any reason we need Yaz to play catcher this year just because the Sox are paying him to be a catcher.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
Whoom

If Grandal cannot catch, then I think it makes sense. Sheets adds (I can’t believe I’m typing this) value in RF and on the bases over Grandal. So if the choice is of keeping one of them and they add essentially equal value with the bat, and Grandal essentially can no longer catch, then yeah keep Sheets.

soxygen

Pay Grandal $18m next year to play somewhere else so that we can keep Sheets on the 2022 major league roster rather than send him to Charlotte? That seems silly.

Whoom

That is a great example of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

Joliet Orange Sox

I don’t think most people are advocating for Grandal over Sheets because of the cost (I think most of us know about the sunk cost fallacy).

Grandal has a long career of hitting when healthy (doing well as recently as the end of last season) while Sheets doesn’t have that track record. Your hypothetical situation above where Grandal can’t catch and they are equal at the bat is a possible but unlikely situation and certainly can’t be the basis for a roster decision in the next few days.

soxygen

I agree with Joliet Orange Sox here. The goal is to get Grandal healthy. When healthy last year he hit well. Over each of the last two years when his knees and legs have bothered him he has not hit well or defended well, so we need to reduce the strain on his knees so that he can hit.

Sheets would only need to go to the minors for a month and a half max (until rosters expand). He could be back sooner if another position player is injured which, let’s face it, is likely. Sending him down for a month and a half is a low cost compared to the alternatives.

Sheets is an asset but he isn’t nearly the hitter that Grandal was after his surgery last year so I just don’t think we’d miss him.

But I think the fact that there are 70+ comments here indicates that there are a lot of different ways to look at it. Discussions like this one are when being a part of Sox Machine is most enjoyable.

Joliet Orange Sox

With huge fans like you, Grandal doesn’t need detractors.

ChiSoxND12

Some of this Grandal bashing reminds me of the stuff you see on other Sox blogs/Facebook.

Yas posted a 155 OPS+ last year, and basically about the best possible way you could (.420 OBP, .520 SLG). And most of that was post injury.

Is the hate just super-confident speculation that the off season knee procedures + age have spelled his demise? I sorta have to assume it is, because otherwise the hate just doesn’t really make sense

a-t

McGuire was acquired for essentially free because he was out of options and the Jays had two better catching options, plus a top catching prospect; Collins was better than nothing from a DFA for them.

As for the options presented: I would send down Lambert for the 10 days after the ASB but before the trade deadline. I’d dangle McGuire to see if there are any takers in exchange for a good reliever, approximately; if McGuire can be used as most of the counterweight to acquire say old friend David Robertson or equivalent, that’s too convenient a solution to the catcher crunch to pass up. In that case, Zavala takes most games behind the plate and Grandal spends McGuire’s time catching but otherwise mostly DHing.

If there isn’t a decent trade out there for McGuire, then shuttling Sheets and Lambert between Chicago and Charlotte as needed makes the most sense for the month of August until rosters expand to 28. If they make the playoffs, McGuire is simply left off the playoff roster if Grandal and Zavala are healthy.

soxygen

I would agree that if we can get a reliever with 13 saves and a 1.93 era who is only being paid $3.5M this year in exchange for backup catcher McGuire + then we should definitely make that trade. I can’t think of any organization that would make that trade with us, but yeah, that would be awesome. Step aside, Joe Kelly.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
a-t

I’m envisioning a three-team trade; McGuire to a contender (NYY, HOU, STL) in need of a good-defense backup C, contender prospect + say Stiever to rebuilding team, reliever from rebuilding team to Sox. Robertson individually might require more, but I think the basic template works.

Nellie Fox

Grandal is a good dh but worthless in the throwing runners out game. Zavala is dependable behind the plate and can hit. Train him to throw and the Sox have the catcher with mcquire as the backup.

gibby32

“Train him to throw”? Why don’t they just “train everyone to hit”? This comment is utterly clueless.