Detroit activated Alex Avila from the seven-day concussion disabled list after the catcher missed 16 days with a brain injury.
Avila caught seven innings and went 2-for-3 with two walks in a minor-league rehab game Monday at Triple-A to convince the Tigers he was ready to return. He experienced some post-concussions symptoms as recently as last Thursday, but was able to catch in back-to-back games since then.
Prior to the concussion Avila had been playing well in 15 games since the All-Star break, bouncing back from a miserable first half. He’s hitting .198 with with nine homers and a .628 OPS in 73 games overall.
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.