150-steal guy Billy Hamilton would seem to be a nice piece to have around with expanded rosters in September, but the Reds are “probably not” going to call him up, GM Walt Jocketty said Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Hamilton has set a minor league record with 154 steals for high-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola this season. He’s hit .319/.418/.431 between the two levels.
If Hamilton doesn’t get a callup, it’ll be mostly about the 40-man roster. Not only is Hamilton not on it now, but he won’t need to be added this winter, giving the Reds an extra spot to play with then. The Reds are at 40 right now, and they don’t have a whole lot of flexibility.
Which is too bad, because it’d be great to see Hamilton show off his wheels next month. The game’s fastest player, he would make an impact as a pinch-runner.
Hamilton is slated to take part in the Arizona Fall League when it kicks off in October.
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.