Franklin Gutierrez, who has spent much of the spring sitting out games while undergoing tests on stomach problems that date back to last season, will begin the year on the disabled list.
Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Gutierrez “still has received no answers from a battery of medical tests and his return remains uncertain.”
He was initially diagnosed with a “slow digestive tract,” but the Mariners now believe something else is to blame. General manager Jack Zduriencik indicated last week that Gutierrez won’t be cleared to return until the cause is definitively found.
He’ll continue to undergo further testing while Ryan Langerhans and Michael Saunders take the Gold Glove center fielder’s place in the lineup.
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.