One of the many remarkable things about the A’s rise to playoff contention is that they’ve done most of their winning without Brandon McCarthy, who’s been on the disabled list since mid-June with a shoulder injury.
Before going on the DL he was Oakland’s staff ace, throwing 78 innings with a 2.54 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio after doing similarly impressive work last year with a 3.32 ERA in 171 frames.
McCarthy missing big chunks of time with injuries is standard operating procedure, but he’s due back from the DL for tonight’s game against the White Sox. He reported no problems after a bullpen session earlier this week and tossed six shutout innings in his most recent rehab start.
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.