The Reds have a Yonder Alonso problem.
See, the guy can rake. Big time. He always hit in the minors and in limited playing time in the majors this year he has been fantastic (.467/.556/.867 and three homers in 36 plate appearances).
The problem: he has no position. He is naturally a first baseman, but as you likely know, the reigning MVP plays first base for the Reds and he’s continuing to play MVP-caliber baseball. So you try him in left field and … disaster strikes. As a result, Dusty Baker has been trying to figure out what to do with the guy. They’ve given him some reps at third base, but they haven’t started him there.
At least until tonight. Yonder Alonso will man the hot corner against the Phillies.
Alonso has said that third base was his “position growing up.” But hey, catcher was mine and that didn’t help me. Even when I was still growing up. Hell, the only reason I caught was because I had a catcher’s mitt. Who’s to say why Alonso played third? All we know for sure is that he has never once played it as a professional.
I think I know which game I’m watching tonight. At least until I’m forced to turn away.
In a column published on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres are “aggressively shopping” third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $2.7 million next season.
This past season, Solarte hit a solid .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances. It’s quite impressive factoring in that he plays in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Given that Solarte is team-controlled for three more years and he offers lots of versatility with previous experience playing first and second base as well as corner outfield, the Padres should receive a fair amount of interest.
Update (6:52 PM EST): The deal is expected to be one year for $13 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the report.
The Yankees are close to signing veteran free agent Matt Holliday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 years old next month, was limited to 110 games in 2016 with the Cardinals due to a fractured left thumb suffered in the second half. He finished the season hitting .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances.
Holliday is likely looking at spending the majority of his time in the DH role. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann handled the DH role for a majority of the time last season but all three have moved on — Rodriguez was released in the second half, Beltran just signed with the Astros, and McCann was traded to the Astros last month.