Last week the Phillies demoted rookie reliever Michael Schwimer to Triple-A, but the right-hander was unhappy about the move and believed he should have been placed on the disabled list instead because of elbow soreness.
That may not seem like a big difference, but a DL stint would mean collecting a major-league salary and accruing major-league service time, both of which beat the hell out of Triple-A.
It’s now five days later and Schwimer has yet to report to Triple-A, with Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writing that he’s seeking a second opinion to prove that the elbow injury is legitimate
When asked about the situation, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. replied:
He’s not in Lehigh Valley, but we don’t plan on taking any action. I really can’t comment on anything else.
There are examples of players in similar situations filing grievances against the team, although considering Schwimer is years from arbitration, let alone free agency, you’d think the Phillies would ditch the hardline stance before it got to that point.
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.