What other choice do they possibly have? It’s not like you can up and demote Fantastic Felipe Paulino or Jeff “The Canadian Crusader” Francis.
With Kyle Davies returning from the disabled list this week, the Royals plan to go to a six-man rotation, possibly for the rest of the season, according to manager Ned Yost.
The career ERAs of the Royals’ six starters:
4.60 (Bruce Chen)
4.61 (Danny Duffy, eight career starts)
5.45 (Luke Hochevar)
I’m not going to blame Yost for this. Davies is the Royals’ highest-paid starter at $3.2 million, and the front office probably isn’t keen on making him a reliever or simply releasing him, even though he’s 1-6 with a 7.46 ERA. And it wouldn’t really be fair to dump anyone from the current group to make room for Davies, though only Chen deserves any real semblance of job security based on his performance over the last year.
So, six it is, though probably only for a little while. Davies can’t have much more rope, and it’s not like anyone from the group has diplayed much durability lately. Davies, who is coming back from a sore shoulder, was the only one of the six to make 25 starts last season.
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.