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2018-19 Position-by-position Free Agent Preview

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The kickoff for the 2018-19 free agency extravaganza will most likely come some time this afternoon when Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers decide his future. He has until 4PM to exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent. All signs at the moment, however, point to him remaining with Los Angeles. We’ll know soon enough.

This year’s free agent class is a whole heck of a lot more interesting than a maybe-free-agent Kershaw. Indeed, it’s a better free agent class than we’ve seen in several years.

Earlier this week we looked at the upcoming free agent signing period on a position-by-position basis with an eye on who’s available, who’s shopping and what might go down between tomorrow and, well, when everyone signs.

For those who missed it, here are those installments:

In addition to those overviews, you should go read Matthew Pouliot’s annual rundown of the top 111 free agents available for a truly detailed look at what’s out there. Bookmark that one, as it’ll be a handy dandy reference for you all winter long. “Wait, my team signed . . . Brad Bach? What am I supposed to think about that?” Well, that’s what that article is for.

And, as we have for the past nine offseasons, check in with us constantly this winter as we’ll be posting about, and talking about, free agent signings soon after they happen.

Happy Hot Stove Season, everyone.

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.