It was a little curious when Carlos Beltran was not on the lineup card for today’s game against the Phillies, but the intrigue didn’t last too long.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Beltran is out with flu-like symptoms. Scott Hairston will start in his place in right field this afternoon and bat third against left-hander Cole Hamels.
Beltran, one of the most coveted bats on the trade market this month, hit a long solo home run to distant center field in last night’s loss to the Phillies. He’s batting .287/.381/.512 with 14 homers and a .893 OPS in 381 plate appearances this season. Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is that he leads the Mets with 90 games played.
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.