Instead of letting the backup catcher competition drag on until the end of spring training the Phillies have released Lou Marson, meaning Wil Nieves is in line to be starter Carlos Ruiz’s understudy.
Marson was originally drafted by the Phillies back in 2004 and came up through their farm system before being traded to the Indians as part of the Cliff Lee deal in 2009.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com notes that the Phillies weren’t interested in stashing Marson at Triple-A because they have a younger catcher there who needs consistent work in Tommy Joseph, so they cut him loose early and he’ll try to latch on elsewhere.
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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.