MLB, MLBPA discussing changes to drug program

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Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that officials with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are talking about changes to the drug program. Under the current plan the sides can and do meet each year to discuss alterations and such alterations are often made. For example, last year baseline testosterone screening and HGH blood testing was included.

This year, Morosi reports, the changes being discussed are small, but could include the severity of penalties, which has been a hot topic since the Biogenesis story broke. Many players and, one presumes, the league are in favor of stiffer penalties for first-time offenses.

Of course, given that MLB just got A-Rod for 162-games on what, under the Joint Drug Agreement, counted as a first offense, I suppose how necessary such changes are is an open question.

Report: White Sox acquire Yonder Alonso from Indians

Yonder Alonso
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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.