One day after creating a log jam at first base for 2019, the Cleveland Indians have unloaded the incumbent from the 2018 season.
The Indians will still see plenty of Alonso in 2019 as he will remain in the American League Central Division. The Chicago White Sox have taken on Alonso’s contract in exchange for minor league outfielder Alex Call.
The trades also increase the chances that starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer both remain in an Indians uniform next season. It could also mean there is more money available to a team that wants to acquire either starting pitcher later in the off season.
Alonso hit .250 with 23 homers and 83 runs batted in. He also recorded 19 doubles in his lone season with the Tribe. The trade also makes sense for the White Sox in their pursuit of free agent Manny Machado. Alonso is Machado’s brother-in-law.
The Indians roster will look very different when Spring Training opens in February. Cleveland has traded away three everyday players from the 2018 American League Central Division championship in Alonso, Yan Gomes, and Edwin Encarnacion. Cleveland also could lose starting left fielder Michael Brantley via free agency.
Is there is a bright side to these off season moves? There could be more money available for shortstop Francisco Lindor when his contract expires in 2021. The trades also provide young talent to pair up with Lindor and Jose Ramirez in the near future.
The Indians may not be done wheeling and dealing this off season. So stay tuned to see what the future holds.