Carl Crawford will obviously have no shortage of suitors when he hits the open market as a free agent next month and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers will be among the many teams making a run at the speedy outfielder.
According to Rosenthal the Tigers “are deeply interested in Crawford” and could push teams like the Red Sox and Angels for his services.
Crawford and Austin Jackson would form two-thirds of an amazing defensive outfield and as Rosenthal notes spacious Comerica Park would give Crawford a chance to pile up even more triples than usual.
Of course, whether Crawford has any interest in playing for Detroit and whether the Tigers actually have the payroll room to get into a bidding war for him are unclear. Detroit is reportedly close to re-signing Jhonny Peralta after already locking up Brandon Inge, which would mean committing more than $10 million to a pair of .700 OPS infielders for the next two seasons.
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.