If it weren’t for that “the Braves shouldn’t have kept Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz” thing earlier this morning this would have been the silliest thing I read all day:
[Manny] Ramirez complained toward the end of last season that playing the
outfield wore down his legs. He seriously considered opting out of his
contract to return to the American League for a designated-hitter role,
but instead exercised a $20 million option to remain a Dodger when it
was clear no other club would come close to that salary.
The notion that Ramirez would have even considered walking away from $20 million for a shot at some of those big, big DH dollars everyone is throwing out these days is pretty laughable. Less laughable than disturbing is the notion that Manny Ramirez — who, you may recall, took an extended breather during the middle of last season — says he needs even more rest for his weary legs. Because unless he’s back on the hormones, he’s gonna be expected to play more than 104 games out there this year.
Despite all of the offseason turmoil, I still think the Dodgers are the favorites in the NL West, but if Manny Ramirez is truly breaking down as fast as he claims to be, it may very well be a long season in Los Angeles.
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.