Before you read this, go back and read this. OK? Great. I won’t make you do that again every time we talk free agent stuff, but do please try to remember it.
Anyway, C.J. Wilson gave an interview to Scoreboarddaily.com and said this when asked if he might return to the Rangers:
Yeah, there’s a great chance because I like it here and I’ve won here. I’ve proved that I can be a good pitcher here.
The Rangers could certainly end up being the most desirable suitor for Wilson’s services. Indeed, rumblings out of the Yankee Universe — long thought the most likely team to bid on Wilson — have grown decidedly negative lately, and weren’t helped at all by Wilson’s lackluster postseason. But ultimately — as is the case with every free agent, money is going to play the largest role.
All things being equal, sure, Wilson chooses to stay where he’s comfy. But when was the last time all things were equal in the upper end of the free agent market?
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.