Detroit’s bats have finally, desperately come alive.
After leadoff singles from Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in the bottom of the fifth inning, shortstop-turned-outfielder Jhonny Peralta slugged a Dan Straily fastball over the left field fence at Comerica Park, tying this ALDS Game 4 at 3-3. A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes climbed high atop the wall and nearly made a play on the ball, but it sailed past.
Straily was working on a no-hitter through four before Fielder’s fifth-inning single. Tigers starter Doug Fister has struggled but is still in the game as the top of the sixth gets underway in downtown Detroit.
The Tigers are down 2-1 in the best-of-five ALDS and trying to stave off elimination.
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.