Nothing too Earth shattering in this article about Travis Hafner. Just your run-of-the-mill “Player X is feeling great and ready to contribute next season” piece. But man, I had forgotten just how bad a deal the Tribe made with this guy:
Though the Indians have young, emerging talent in the likes Shin-Soo
Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and Matt LaPorta, having a veteran power bat in
the middle of the order remains a must.
Especially when you remember the Tribe still owes Hafner $11.5
million in 2010, $13 million in 2011 and $13 million in 2012. And don’t
forget that $2.75 million buyout if his 2013 club option isn’t
Sweet sassy-molassy that’s a lot of money to pay a guy who could hit a few years ago.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.