Adrian Beltre went 2-for-3 with a double against Dan Haren last night, continuing his career-long dominance over one of the best starters in baseball.
Beltre has now faced Haren in a total of 56 plate appearances and he’s batted .460 with 10 extra-base hits and six walks for a ridiculous 1.278 OPS.
What makes that ownage especially remarkable is that Haren is a right-handed pitcher who usually shuts down right-handed hitters and Beltre is a right-handed hitter who typically fares much worse versus righties than lefties.
Haren has held all right-handed hitters not named Beltre to a .256 batting average and .699 OPS for his career, while Beltre has hit .269 with a .776 OPS versus all right-handed pitchers not named Haren. Yet put them together and … boom!
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.