Back in September the Marlins signed Greg Dobbs to a one-year, $1.7 million contract extension that had people like me shaking their heads and now today they released the 35-year-old bench bat.
Dobbs had a grand total of 13 plate appearances this season, which means the Marlins a) completely changed their opinion of him in what would be three games worth of playing time for a starting player, and b) paid him about $130,000 per plate appearance. Or maybe c) didn’t want him in the first place, but owner Jeffrey Loria loves him.
He’ll likely land elsewhere as a part-timer, but Dobbs hasn’t topped a .725 OPS since 2008 and has hit a combined .254 with a .299 on-base percentage and .361 slugging percentage in 568 games since 2009.
Releasing him makes plenty of sense. Giving him $1.7 million in September is the odd part.
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.