A player being “out for the rest of the year” is not too terribly important anymore given that there are less than two weeks left in the season. Still, let’s pretend like we give a crap, OK?
Today’s player is Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds. He strained his right lat muscle during last night’s game against the Cubs. Though not a major injury, the Reds have nothing left to play for so there’s No sense in rushing him back and risking a compensation injury or something.
Overall, a great year for Cueto. While his record was only 9-5, he had a 2.31 ERA in 24 starts and looks to be growing quite nicely into a front-of-the-rotation starter.
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.