Los Angeles showed patience with Jerry Sands by sticking with the rookie despite a very slow start and he rebounded with a solid May, but after beginning this month in a 1-for-17 slump the Dodgers have demoted him back to Triple-A.
Sands’ overall numbers aren’t pretty, as he hit just .200 with two homers and a .622 OPS in 41 games. He showed good plate discipline and some gap power with 10 doubles, but also struck out 33 times in 144 trips to the plate.
Trent Oeltjen takes Sands’ place on the roster and it’ll be much easier for manager Don Mattingly to leave a veteran minor leaguer on the bench than it would have been for him to sit a 23-year-old top prospect. Of course, there’s an argument to be made for the Dodgers simply sticking with Sands considering they’re 29-34 and the alternatives are proven mediocrities Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr.
Sands will be back at some point this season, perhaps as the starting first baseman if the Dodgers finally decide to dump James Loney.
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.