We’re two weeks away from the MLB trade deadline and the rumors are starting to heat up. Trade rumors might be my favorite part of sports news and because of that I eat it all up. I’ll believe anything I hear or read because I have a small brain and that stuff gets me going. The Yankees have a ton of holes right now: starting pitching, first base, relief pitching, and sorta third base (not really anymore). If the season ended today the Yankees would be traveling to Tampa for a win or go home wild card game with Chris Archer facing Luis Severino. Currently, New York sits only two games back of first trailing the Red Sox (I only count the loss column when I look at standings) so the Yanks sort of are in a weird spot. They can go for this full speed ahead and deal a few prospects to improve some of this weaknesses or they can stay pat because it’s a “rebuilding year” and not mortgage their future. I’m the proponent of somewhere in the middle and my target right now is Yonder Alonso.
So who is this Yonder Alonso? Before this year he was an average RBI producing first baseman who could field his position. This year? He’s an All-Star who’s having a career year and is a breakout player of the year candidate. As of this moment, he’s working with a .268/.366/.555 triple slash with 21 homers and 44 RBIs. His previous career high in home runs was nine, so what’s changed? (Nerd Stats Alert) It wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest steroids because that’s usually where our mind wanders to when there’s an extreme uptick in power. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Alonso has figured out the coveted launch angle that hitters have sought out to perfect this season. The MLB average for launch angle this season sits at 12.34 degrees while Alonso is cooking with 19.21. The result? A lot more fly balls and a lot more home runs. Compared to his career average of 34.2 fly ball rate, Alonso’s 2017 season has him at a 48.5% clip. It’s working.
The thing about Alonso that makes him interesting is that he’s a free agent at the end of the year so he won’t affect with the future plans of Greg Bird (if there are any). If he plays the second half and absolutely mashes well then there’s a always a possibility of an extension. I don’t think Alonso will cost a lot in a trade because
1) he’s a rental
2) he’s cooled off of late (month of July: .208 with 4 homers and 6 RBIs).
Now you might say why should the Yankees go after a guy who’s cooled off of his hot streak? Well for starters Alonso plays in one of the more friendly pitcher parks in the league. Put that guy, with that fly ball rate in Yankee Stadium and we’re talking lots and lots of fun.
There also doesn’t appear to be a bidding war for the lefty first baseman as the Yanks are the only fucking team that can’t find a competent first baseman to produce this year. So what are we talking in terms of price? There’s no way in hell A’s top scouts are in Single A Charleston looking at Florial (19 years old) and Rutherford (20 years old) for an Alonso deal. The only way that’s the case is if Alonso is included in a Sonny Gray trade which could very well be the case. If it’s just Alonso we’re talking, then maybe a few mid-level prospects would do the trick. Maybe Andujar since there’s no real role for him going forward with Torres back next year to take over third base? If we’re talking a Sonny Gray-Alonso package then we’re going to be giving up one of Rutherford/Florial it looks like, as well as a lot more. I wouldn’t be mad about that situation with how crowded the outfield already is in the majors and AAA. Dealing one of our two big named centerfielders in Single A wouldn’t be the end of the world, just as long as it’s not both.
At the end of the day Alonso would help this team big time. Yes, Garrett Cooper had his best game yet last night. But let’s face it, he’s not a realistic answer for the rest of the year. He’s not a bad bat to have off the bench, but he’s not a starter for a playoff team. At least I don’t think so. I mean up until last night’s game, I thought he was legitimately blind. Proved me wrong there, maybe he’ll continue to do it. Back to Alonso though, he’s a very good fielding first baseman as well and is just talented all over the place.
Get me this man in pinstripes.
P.S. In regards to JJ’s blog about not dealing Frazier I support it. The kid’s growing on me day after day, and when it’s all said and done if you play your ass off and genuinely want to be here then I’m all for it. He’s 22 years old and it’s fine if he has a few young moments here and there. He can help us win right now and in the future plain and simple.
P.P.S. Who’s Yonder Alonso’s brother-in-law? Manny Machado….hmmmmm