Indians Make Room For Santana, Bauers By Shipping Out Alonso
After acquiring Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers on the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Indians on Friday made room for their newcomers by shipping first baseman Yonder Alonso to the White Sox for minor league outfielder Alex Call. In doing so, the team shed roughly $8 million in salary.
In Alonso, the White Sox get a player who can split time between first base and DH with Jose Abreu while providing 20-plus home run thump. Notably, Alonso is the brother-in-law of free agent Manny Machado, whom the White Sox are chasing hard.
WHITE SOX ACQUIRE:
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Alonso spent the first portion of his career bouncing from Cincinnati to San Diego to Oakland to Seattle before finally landing in Cleveland in 2018. He also has found his power stroke over the last two seasons. Fifty-one of his 90 career home runs have come since 2017. That figure ties him with Freddie Freeman among first basemen over the last two seasons.
He unlocked his power by increasing his launch angle, which also came with an uptick in strikeout percentage.
"It took a lot of work, and it just happened," Alonso told Cleveland.com before the 2018 season. "I think my ability, I always felt like it was there, on par with a lot of good players in this league. But, I feel like it takes time for a couple players. For me, obviously it took me four, five, six years to adjust."
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Alex Call, OF
Call was the White Sox’s third-round selection in 2016 out of Ball State, and he has put up middling numbers so far in his career. Chicago’s system is overloaded with outfielders, however, and Call was well behind players like Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Luis Gonzalez and Blake Rutherford.
He’s a versatile player who can fit in all three outfield positions, though he’s best suited for a corner and played mostly right field after being promoted to Double-A Birmingham. He won’t wow you with any one tool, but without an improvement in his power output he’s most likely to fit as an extra outfielder.