42-year-old Henry Blanco lost out to Tuffy Gosewisch for the Diamondbacks’ backup catcher job during spring training, but he’ll still be wearing the team’s uniform this season. Just not as a player. The Diamondbacks announced this afternoon that Blanco has joined the team’s coaching staff.
Don’t take this decision to mean that Blanco has turned the page on his playing career. While the initial announcement from the team said that Blanco had officially retired, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports that the team has since clarified by saying that he is open to playing again. You have to love that.
Blanco has compiled a .223/.288/.361 career batting line and 72 home runs over 16 major league seasons. He has played for 11 different teams.
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.