While most people were getting ready to sleep before their big day tomorrow, the Cleveland Indians were busy signing an All-Star first baseman to a very reasonable contract. That first baseman is Yonder Alonso, that reasonable contract is a two-year, $16 million deal with an $8 million vesting option for the third year, and one of those people who wishes they were asleep right now is me.
Alonso, 30, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the home run surge of a season ago — he hit 28 home runs with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners last season after only hitting 39 total over his first seven seasons in the majors. In addition to an uptick in power, Alonso showed more patience at the plate than ever with a 13.1 walk rate, but he also struck out at a career-high 22.6 percent clip.
Defensively Alonso isn’t a great option at first base, and there are some legitimate concerns with his wide splits. Over his career, Alonso has an 84 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers and a 113 wRC+ against righties. The split was even more dramatic in his 2017 renaissance when he had an 80 wRC+ against lefties and a 141 wRC+ against righties.
The signing comes a week after the Philadelphia Phillies signed former Indians first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million deal and if there is any kind of higher power it signals that the Indians are completely out of the running for Eric Hosmer.