The bad news keeps coming for the Rangers, who announced yesterday that infielder Jurickson Profar will be out for 10-12 weeks with a torn shoulder muscle and have now lost catcher Geovany Soto for 10-12 weeks with a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.
Soto will undergo surgery, likely leaving J.P. Arencibia as the starting catcher and Robinson Chirinos as his backup. Arencibia was the Blue Jays’ starting catcher for the past three seasons, averaging 123 games and 452 plate appearances per year, so durability-wise he can certainly step into a bigger role.
However, aside from 20-homer power Arencibia has been an awful player, hitting .214 with an abysmal .260 on-base percentage and .670 OPS while throwing out just 25 percent of steal attempts. Chirinos is a 30-year-old journeyman with a modest Triple-A track record, but he has had a very good spring training. Texas could look for some catching help on the waiver wire.
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.