Extra wild card teams! One game playoffs! Optimized TV schedules! These are all so, so awesome! Except for if it, you know, rains or something. Jayson Stark breaks down the potential chaos:
So let’s just say the Cardinals and Dodgers do indeed finish tied for that second wild-card spot. And let’s just say the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the tiebreaker game to nail down that spot.
Under the current schedule, the Cardinals would theoretically have to play Wednesday night in St. Louis, Thursday night in Los Angeles and Friday sometime-or-other in Atlanta. Well, guess what? That ain’t happening.
It’s not, Stark explains, because the union and the league agreed back in March to not let that happen. So Stark goes over the alternatives. And they all stink.
You reap what you sow, MLB. You wanted to cram in the expanded playoffs without having a regular season schedule that can reasonably accommodate them and that’s what you get.
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.