Matthew made a good point about the Yankees linuep last night. And all things being equal, damn, I don’t know that I could go with Alex Rodriguez in Game 5. He just looks totally lost up there.
But even if Matthew is right and Joe Girardi shouldn’t go with A-Rod, I have this feeling he will. Why? Let’s ask my friend J.R. O’Grady:
Girardi gets crap for playing it by the book — or the binder — sometimes, but it’s not some unique quirk of his to play matchups like that. Obviously the A-Rod we’re seeing now is not the same guy who beat up on Jason Hammel in the past, but those numbers make me think that Joe has the kind of cover to allow him to give his star third baseman a shot at redemption.
But really, there are no good decisions here. We can all second guess tonight’s lineup before the game and, if the Yankees lose, we will all certainly pile on Girardi. But if you think that there is one obvious correct course of action here, you’re crazy.
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.