From beat writer Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer comes word that the Indians have activated third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall from the 60-day disabled list and intend to start him on Monday evening in their series finale against the Twins.
Josh Tomlin was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list in order to clear room on Cleveland’s 40-man roster. He is out for the remainder of this season and most of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
Chisenhall has been sidelined since late June with a fractured right forearm that required surgery.
The 23-year-old was batting .278 with a .756 OPS in 74 plate appearances before hitting the shelf.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.