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Indians sign Yonder Alonso to a two-year, $16 million contract

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported on Wednesday that the Indians have signed free agent first baseman Yonder Alonso. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, it’s a two-year, $16 million deal with a vesting option for a third year.

Alonso, 30, had a career year in 2017, batting an aggregate .266/.365/.501 with 28 home runs and 67 RBI in 521 plate appearances between the Athletics and Mariners. He became one of the poster children of the fly ball movement, as he hit balls in the air at a 43.2 percent clip in 2017, around 10 percent higher than his career average coming into the campaign. Alonso had never hit more than nine home runs in a season coming into the year, so the Indians are hoping his performance is sustainable.

The Indians needed to fill the void at first base left by Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Phillies. Edwin Encarnacion will continue to start at DH for the most part.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.