Happy Memorial Day everyone. Hope you have a nice day off and, as you’re having that day off, hope you take the time to think about why you’re getting it.
From a baseball perspective, we’ll no doubt hear and read stories today about the major leaguers who served in the military. A good place to start with this is over at The Platoon Advantage, where The Common Man has some stories of some of the less-famous ballplayers who served out nation heroically and don’t tend to get a lot of general recognition for it.
We all know about Bob Feller and Ted Williams, and nothing can be taken away from their legacies as both ballplayers and servicemen. But we’d all probably do well to think about Gabby Street and Al Bumbry too.
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.