Ryan Braun continued to own the Phillies yesterday, hitting a big RBI triple the day after hitting three homers. When he got to third base he made a gesture of sorts. A gesture he claimed was aimed at his dugout but which, I dunno, may have been a taunt of the Philly fans. The 700 Level investigates with video and GIFy evidence.
I’m gonna say it’s a taunt. Partially because Ryan Braun has pretty much forfeited the benefit of the doubt on any subject whatsoever, partially because I really, really want it to have been a taunt. Baseball and its code of professionalism and humility gets so old sometimes. It could use some arrogant villains. Like, real ones, who embrace their unpopularity, not imaginary villains like Puig.
Go full-heel, Ryan. Go full-heel.
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.