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.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.