Chicago Cubs: Yasmani Grandal deal could mean a power shift in Chicago

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Does Yasmani Grandal signing with the Chicago White Sox signify a shift in the balance of power in the Windy City or are the Chicago Cubs still on top?

Well, I can’t say I saw that one coming. On Thursday, the Chicago White Sox turned heads across the baseball world, announcing the signing of free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal. It marked the richest free agent deal in franchise history at four years, $73 million – edging out the deal the team gave Jose Abreu (six years, $68 million) ahead of the 2014 campaign.

Given the fact all news coming out of the North Side of the city regarding the Cubs seems to relate to budgetary limitations, trading franchise cornerstones and a changing-of-the-guard both in the dugout and in the front office, this is a move sure to turn heads in Chicago.

Grandal, who turned 31 earlier this month, chose to bet on himself last winter after turning down a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets. He instead signed a one-year, $18.25 million deal with the Cubs’ rival to the north, the Milwaukee Brewers – turning in a career year in the process.

The veteran backstop represents a multi-dimensional asset the Sox will undoubtedly look to as the team seeks to emerge from its multi-year rebuilding effort. He’s an above-average offensive player (evidenced by his 114 OPS+ since 2014 and 121 wRC+ last season) and one of the game’s best backstops.