The Brewers made no changes to their 25-man postseason roster heading into Sunday’s NLCS Game 1. The Cardinals were a littler bit busier.
According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, the Cardinals have added right-handed relievers Kyle McClellan and Lance Lynn for the NLCS while dropping Skip Schumaker and Jake Westbrook.
Lynn is finally recovered from a severe oblique strain that cost him the final two months of the regular season, and McClellan is over the dead arm phase that plagued him in late September. Schumaker strained his oblique during Friday night’s thrilling Game 5 victory over the Phillies and probably won’t be available even if the Cardinals advance to the World Series. Westbrook, a starter during the regular season, was not used once in the NLDS.
Asked why he opted not to add a position player (like Tyler Greene) in place of Schumaker, Cards manager Tony La Russa told reporters that he’s aiming to neutralize Milwaukee’s dangerous right-handed bats.
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.