Chris Coghlan has played left field in all but one of his 219 career games, but according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com “the Marlins plan on converting Coghlan from left field to third base” in 2011.
It presumably won’t take much to convert him, because Coghlan was actually a full-time infielder in the minors before switching to left field when he joined the Marlins in 2009. In fact, he’d never started a professional game in the outfield prior to doing so for the Marlins.
Coghlan was primarily a second baseman in the minors, but also saw action at third base 42 times in parts of four minor-league seasons. By moving him to the infield the Marlins clear room for Logan Morrison, Cameron Maybin, and Mike Stanton to patrol the outfield full time.
Before he can change positions again Coghlan has to get healthy first, as he missed the final six weeks of the season following knee surgery. Frisaro reports that Coghlan has only been cleared to do light jogging at this point, but seems confident that he’ll be ready for spring training despite his recovery time being “longer than initially expected because of the severity of the tear.”
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.