In theaters now is “Million Dollar Arm,” Disney’s version of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel’s unlikely journey from game show winners in India to minor league pitchers in the United States. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has their story.
Along the way, Crasnick tells us that, though their major league baseball dreams didn’t materialize, one of them did get to experience something many, many major league pitchers have lately: Tommy John surgery for Singh:
Last summer, Singh experienced another ritual that’s become increasingly more commonplace among young American and Latino males in his new profession: He underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Like Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez and so many other All-Stars/household names, Singh is dealing with the emotional and physical fallout of an ulnar collateral ligament tear. He’ll spend this summer rehabbing in an effort to return to the playing field in 2015.
In this case, I do not think we can realistically look at the subject being overworked in highly-competitive youth traveling leagues as the culprit.
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.