Blue Jays exercise $1.2M option on Jose Molina

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From John Lott of Toronto’s National Post comes word that the Blue Jays have exercised catcher Jose Molina’s $1.2 million option for the 2011 season.

No surprise here.  John Buck had an exceptional 2010 campaign as the Blue Jays’ starting catcher, tallying 20 homers and an 802 OPS over 409 at-bats, but he will be a free agent this offseason and is expected to land a multi-year contract with another club.

With that knowledge, the Jays decided to lock up Molina for one more year and use him in a platoon with young backstop J.P. Arencibia for the first few months of 2011.  If Arencibia continues to develop as expected, he should be the starter in Toronto by the All-Star break.

Molina, 35, hit .246/.304/.377 this past season with six homers in 167 at-bats.  Arencibia, 24, slugged 32 home runs in 412 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas.

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.