Nationals call up shortstop prospect Trea Turner

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In an attempt to halt their free fall from the playoff picture the Nationals have made an unexpected move, calling up 22-year-old shortstop prospect Trea Turner from Triple-A.

Turner was the Padres’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and came to the Nationals this offseason in the big three-team deal that also involved the Rays. Going into the season he ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect and he’s boosted his stock by hitting .322 with eight homers and an .828 OPS in 116 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Turner has been a full-time shortstop in the minors, which is noteworthy because the Nationals have former All-Star Ian Desmond there. Desmond is an impending free agent having a bad season with a .227 batting average and .663 OPS in 116 games. However, twice this week the Nationals had Turner play second base at Triple-A, suggesting he could instead take the spot of Danny Espinosa.

Turner is one of the best shortstop prospects in baseball and a long-term building block, but it’ll be interesting to see where and how often he plays for the Nationals down the stretch.

Report: White Sox acquire Yonder Alonso from Indians

Yonder Alonso
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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.