The White Sox are up and coming and just around the corner and this type of signing announces their intention to keep turning that corner.
However... With that said... I'm glad they spent resources on an expensive catcher instead of elsewhere.
I typically get resistance when I say things like I'm about to say but will say it anyway.
If I was a GM... I would never pay a big free agent contract for a catcher nor would I trade significant talent to trade for one.
Catcher's don't play every day... You get more bang for the buck investing in other positions. Catchers need rest and they get injured more often. I get that there is a canyon between Grandal and Herrmann and that is what the 73 million is buying but you are still spending your resources in an area where you overall production is limited due to playing time and health.
The 73 Million the White Sox just spent is 73 Million that they won't spend on something that might produce more at another position.
Clubs need to get very serious about growing their own. If they develop extra... trade it because it is over-valued.
Can't agree more. And you didn't mention perhaps the biggest snare: if you have a stud bat at catcher, by whatever means of acquisition, it puts pressure on your roster. Because, if you say "we want that bat in the lineup at DH, even when he's not catching," your manager is going to be constantly begging for some form of third catcher. And you can't attract a top level DH to your team, because he'll know he can't play full time. (In a non-DH league, the problem merely transfers identically to 1B.)
If your third-round draft pick (*cough*Realmuto*cough*) turns out to be that stud, so be it, you have one of those so-called nice problems to have - at least until he becomes expensive. But to pay good money for that? No. To invest a high first-round draft pick for that? No again, for me. Apply those scarce resources to other problems.
The exception is if you're a rich team. Buy that expensive catcher. Pay for a top-shelf DH. And when it's that catcher's day off, tell him, "nah, rest up. Big game for you tomorrow." You can afford to pay idle resources, even when they are that good, when you are that rich.