Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
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Report: Indians, Orioles discussing Mychal Givens

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The Indians appear to be interested in Orioles right-handed reliever Mychal Givens, per a recent report from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Givens is far from the only player the club is interested in acquiring prior to the trade deadline, but as they’re currently eying affordable, multi-inning relievers, he definitely seems to fit the bill.

The 28-year-old right-hander is slated to remain under team control through the 2021 season and has put up some impressive totals over the last three seasons.  This year, however, he appears to be in a rut — entering Saturday’s contest, Givens is sporting a career-worst 4.40 ERA, 2.9 BB/0 and 10.1 SO/0 through his first 47 innings. That may not be as off-putting to the Indians as it would to another team: Their bullpen currently ranks second to last in the league with a cumulative 5.39 ERA and -1.9 fWAR, bested (or worsted) only by the Royals.

As with nearly every other team these days, the Indians are also in on shortstop Manny Machado, and reportedly have feelers out for outfielder Adam Jones, too. With the trade deadline weeks away, nothing appears to be imminent on any of these fronts so far. Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports adds that a deal for Givens might be more difficult than initially expected; while the reliever isn’t expected to be completely off the table in trade talks, his durability and consistency over the last four years (not to mention his team-friendly contract) makes him a valuable asset that the Orioles will find difficult to part with.

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.