This is not a BSOHL post. This is a mere update to an injured player post. The player: Reds ace Johnny Cueto, who last we saw, was leaving the playoffs thanks to a bum oblique muscle. His general manager says he’s doing much better now, however:
“Cueto’s in great shape,” Walt Jocketty said. “We just saw him in the Dominican. We had a group of people there, and they said he’s in great physical shape. He feels good, the side is good, he’s throwing. He should be 100 percent.”
That’s good news for the Reds. They had a great rotation last year, but they were extremely reliant on the top 5 guys, as opposed to rotation depth. They need Cueto and everyone else to be healthy in order to repeat.
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.