— Stadium (@WatchStadium) December 15, 2018
Minutes before publishing, a tweet surfaced that seemed to confirm the early reports of a trade. Confirmation, until that time, was difficult to find minutes after the tweet hit the airwaves.
Hearing the Indians will receive a prospect in return. Official announcement likely tomorrow.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) December 15, 2018
Value-obsessed baseball teams do not think like this, but it would be interesting if a Manny Machado suitor traded for his brother-in-law, #Indians 1B Yonder Alonso, who now figures to be highly available. Alonso would amount to a $9M enticement, but who’s counting?
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2018
Alonso is Manny Machado‘s brother-in-law and the White Sox are scheduled to meet with Machado very soon. It’s important to remind everyone that this isn’t how professional sports is supposed to work. It’s not a common move to net a family member in a trade as ransom to sign a free agent. Ransom is an austere term to use, but if this is a maneuver to sway Machado even closer to the Sox than…I’m speechless.
Harper talk aside -According to industry sources Manny Machado will meet with at least 6 teams next week . The Chicago White Sox are on that list .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 15, 2018
I don’t have the precedence in front of me to say that it is unprecedented, but it feels extremely unorthodox.
Early reports from anywhere and everywhere on seem to place Alex Call at the center of this deal. Barstool White Sox Dave appeared to be the first with the Call call, and FutureSox added their weight to the news.
Hearing Alex Call was the main piece moved https://t.co/EExKjczmY9
— whitesoxdave (@barstoolWSD) December 15, 2018
— FutureSox (@FutureSox) December 15, 2018
Call’s star has been fading the past two seasons with the White Sox, but perhaps a change of scenery will give a fresh start with a new organization. Alonso, on the other hand, is another peculiar move for the Sox given his quasi-inconsistent career.
He was an all-star in 2017, splitting the season between Oakland and Seattle. Alonso batted .273 in his first full season of at-bats in 2012, but has never sniffed 100 runs-batted-in in a season. In fact, for such a burly, one-dimensional player his power has been inconsistent at best. Alonso smoked 28 homers in 2017 and 22 in 2017. Perhaps he is just finding his power stroke, but at 31 years old and seven seasons under his belt, to blast 50 of your 90 career home runs in the last two seasons is…weird.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2018
But I’m interpreting this move as a replacement for Matt Davidson to assist Jose Abreu at first base and designated hitter. Alonso has a $9 million club option for the 2020 season, so this could be a one-year insurance policy (or negotiating tactic) against losing Abreu at the end of 2019.
But if this is primarily a stealthy move to bring Machado closer into the fold…well…well played, Rick Hahn.
During the course of writing this, it seems more and more national reporters are considering the information with some degree of validation, but still very skeptical. By the time of publication, the original tweet had over 225 retweets and 230 likes.
We will update this story as information becomes available.
Assuming true this couldn’t hurt in the pursuit of Manny Machado, who is Yonder Alonso’s brother in law https://t.co/yqu81mQyoN
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 15, 2018