Texas is reportedly shopping reliever Koji Uehara, but that didn’t stop the Rangers from adding some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor-league contracts.
Both pitchers will get invitations to spring training, although it’ll be tough for them to claim spots in the Rangers’ deep bullpen even if Uehara is traded.
Green has been a pretty typical middle reliever, with a 4.41 career ERA, mediocre strikeout rates, and iffy control to go along with a high-80s fastball. His biggest strength is inducing ground balls and avoiding homers, which could play well in Texas if he ever got the opportunity.
Stetter was very effective for the Brewers in 2008 and 2009, but the 31-year-old lefty has spent most of the past two seasons in the minors or on the disabled list and even when healthy his fastball tops out in the mid-80s.
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.