We already know that the Athletics have some interest in Manny Ramirez, but Peter Gammons of MLB Network is hearing that they are also evaluating Magglio Ordonez for a possible tryout during spring training.
Ordonez, who turned 38 in January, returned from right ankle surgery last season and batted just .255/.303/.331 with five home runs, 32 RBI and a career-low .634 OPS over 92 games. He was removed from the Tigers’ ALCS roster in October after re-breaking his ankle and required a second surgery in November. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported last month that Ordonez has made “consistent progress” in his rehabilitation and intends to play this season.
While Ordonez can’t be counted on to play the outfield anymore, that’s not really a big deal for the A’s since they already have a host of palatable options out there. He’s clearly a big risk following surgery, but one advantage he’d offer to Oakland is that he could be ready to play at the start of the season while Ramirez would still have to serve his 50-game PED suspension.
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.