I love a good rivalry, but sadly almost any decent rivalry these days transitions from actual bad blood to respect to a downright love-fest so damn quickly. I guess that’s human and grounded and everything, but there is some weird feeling of loss when “death to my enemy” is replaced by “a worthy effin’ adversary.”
Such is the case with Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper. Hamels is no longer interested in teaching him what is and what is not old school and is on to venerating the young lad:
Players get to vote on the All-Star bench, and due to both performance and star-power, Harper is more than worthy of the vote. Still, I’m hoping part of this is about some secret agenda on the part of Hamels to attack Harper with a folding chair in the NL Clubhouse in Kansas City next month.
Why yes, I did watch a lot of pro wrestling as a kid. Why do you ask?
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.