As Aaron mentioned earlier, three-time Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Beltran announced Monday that he will make the move to right field.
It turns out the switch was a couple seasons in the making.
According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, after Beltran initially developed the bone bruise in his right knee in the summer of 2009, his agent Scott Boras suggested that it might be beneficial for his career to move to move to a less demanding position than center field.
“He said, ‘Later in your career, you have to think about maybe making a move to a corner position,'” Beltran said. “I was like, ‘Why should I make a move?’ And he said, ‘Your bat is important in the game. You’re going to play a good defensive outfield if you’re in the corner. Plus, you’re going to be fresh for the long run.'”
There’s a certain segment of Mets fans who dislike Beltran no matter what he does, so I’m waiting to hear how his decision to move to right field was somehow selfishly motivated. As if he has dollar signs in his eyes instead of the best interests of the team in mind. The truth is, if Beltran can stay healthy, this is the perfect solution for both the team and the player.
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.