Travis d’Arnaud was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas two weeks ago after he hit just .180/.271/.273 over his first 39 games this season, but he made sure that he didn’t stay down in the minors for long.
The Mets announced this evening that d’Arnaud will return to the majors for the start of a series against the Athletics tomorrow. And boy, did he earn it. The 25-year-old backstop hit .436 (24-for-55) with six home runs, eight doubles, and 16 RBI over 15 games with the 51s. Sure, the Pacific Coast League is considered extremely hitter-friendly, but those numbers are pretty bonkers.
There was extra incentive to bring d’Arnaud back to the majors this week, as the Mets would have lost his last minor league option if they waited past June 27. Of course, if all goes according to plan, he’ll perform well enough moving forward that the Mets won’t have to consider sending him down again.
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.