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.