Plenty of tickets available in Cleveland

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My friend Vince Grzegorek of the Cleveland Scene weekly passes along word that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 unsold tickets for the Indians’ Opening Day game right now.  This is unprecedented in recent history. Sure, attendance has been dropping these past couple of years, but after 15+ years of strong support for the Indians, it looks like we’re heading back to the old days.

On the bright side, there used to be nothing more fun when I was in college than driving up to Cleveland on the day of a game, buying tickets at the Municipal Stadium box office ten minutes before the first pitch and getting to sit right behind home plate.

Not that the Indians ever got anything out of that.

Report: White Sox acquire Yonder Alonso from Indians

Yonder Alonso
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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.