As expected, the Phillies have released Danys Baez after the veteran reliever was designated for assignment and cleared waivers.
Baez still has two months left on a two-year, $5.25 million deal, but his 5.81 ERA in 84 total innings for the Phillies included allowing 17 runs in his final 12 innings.
Baez is still just 33 years old, but he hasn’t managed even 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings since way back in 2005, when he saved 41 games with a 2.86 ERA as Tampa Bay’s closer. In six seasons since then Baez has a 5.16 ERA in 265 innings.
Expect him to latch on somewhere with a minor-league contract. His last non-rehab assignment stint in the minors? Triple-A for the Indians in 2001.
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.