3:49 PM: McGwire just got done answering questions from the media at the team’s Winter Warm-Up event in St. Louis. Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune reports that the event “was cut short after six minutes of a testy give-and-take.”
2:32 PM: Matthew Leach of MLB.com reports that “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses played as Mark McGwire took the stage to a standing ovation at the Cardinals’ “Winter Warm-Up” event on Sunday. See a picture of the scene here.
I think “The Needle And The Damage Done” by Neil Young would have been a more appropriate choice, but that’s just me.
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.