Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the details on reliever Kyuji Fujikawa’s one-year contract with the Rangers, reporting that it’s worth $1 million in guaranteed money plus incentives.
Fujikawa is 34 years old and still needs to prove that he’s fully recovered from Tommy John elbow surgery, but it’s a smart, low-cost gamble for the Rangers.
He was good enough in Japan to get a two-year, $9.5 million deal from the Cubs two offseasons ago, posted a nice 31/8 K/BB ratio in 25 innings as a big leaguer when not injured, and pitched well in the minors.
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.