CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is hearing from rival MLB general managers that the Angels are making left-handed starter C.J. Wilson available for a trade ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.
The feeling is that the Halos are setting themselves up for a run at a top free agent pitcher like Max Scherzer or James Shields, and moving Wilson would free up both a rotation spot and some payroll space.
Anaheim are probably going to have to eat some cash to find a taker for the 34-year-old southpaw, who posted a rough 4.51 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 175 2/3 innings this past season for the AL West champions and then got shelled in his one postseason start. Wilson is owed $18 million in 2015 and a whopping $20 million in 2016.
He carries a no-trade clause that allows him to veto moves to eight (unidentified) 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.