As first reported by MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, the Angels have acquired Collin Cowgill from the Mets in exchange for minor league outfielder Kyle Johnson. Cowgill was officially added to the Angels’ 40-man roster and then optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, where he will serve as organizational depth.
Johnson, a 25th-round pick in 2012, had posted a promising .310/.414/.424 batting line and tallied 30 stolen bases in 67 games this season at Low-A Burlington. But he is far from a top prospect.
Cowgill, a fifth-round pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, hit .180/.206/.311 in 63 plate appearances this year for the Mets before getting designated for assignment on June 18. He is a .237/.294/.311 career batter in the major leagues.
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.