As first reported by beat writer Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Evan Longoria is back in the Rays’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Astros after sitting out all weekend following a flareup of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Longoria is batting cleanup and will serve as the Rays’ designated hitter rather than playing third base. That’s mostly just a precautionary measure.
Longo has posted a .917 OPS and tallied 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 80 games this season. He may need random days off down the stretch to protect his right foot, but it’s not an ailment that should require many extended absences.
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.