The latest pitcher headed for Tommy John elbow surgery is Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez, who was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Hernandez will seek a second opinion, but surgery is likely and would cost him the entire season and perhaps some of 2015 as well.
Hernandez posted a career-worst 4.48 ERA last season thanks to serving up 10 homers in 62 innings, but his 66/24 K/BB ratio was very good, he had a combined 2.94 ERA in 2011 and 2012, and he posted a 2.16 ERA in eight appearances this spring.
Arizona has devoted a lot of money and resources to the bullpen under general manager Kevin Towers, so the Diamondbacks are relatively well-equipped to handle the loss of Hernandez, but he was slated to be a primary setup man for closer Addison Reed.
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.