Unlike Jon Jay, when Yonder Alonso was acquired, it was difficult to see where he fit. The Sox already have an established first basemen and Alonso’s contract would not make him a long term replacement. Also, his presence would definitely mean a reduction in ABs of younger, team controlled lefty bats. The only reason any of us could surmise was that he was here to sway Manny Machado, and now here we are. We Sox fans, like good wingmen, jumped on the grenade for our buddy Freddy and while he didn’t seal the deal we’re stuck with this aftermath.
An important thing to note is that Yonder is not a bad player, he is useful. However, he does very little for you when you look at 2020 and beyond. And when you do that, you see that after opening day he is merely 520 plate appearances away from his contract vesting for 2020 and the Sox being on the hook for $9M. This is one place where I trust the Sox Front Office. When thinking of the vesting option, much like Rachel Phelps, they’re never gonna let that happen. So what do you do with this guy?
This is what I see the most when this discussion occurs. “Let’s see if he gets out to his usual hot start and trade him before he fades away. ” First off, if we know this, I’m pretty sure most GMs know this. Not to mention, the A’s just had an injury at 1B and I am guessing the Sox were on the horn about it. The A’s ended up grabbing Kendrys Morales instead. The fact of the matter is that what Yonder brings is not terribly special in this era and it will be difficult to move him for anything, even if the Sox eat the money.
This is much more likely what you’ll see, and while it’s not sexy, it’ll get the job done. This would likely give us more PAs for a guy like Jose Rondon who they really need to see if he can hit the way they hope. Unfortunately, it may also be guys like Ryan Cordell playing the OF while Eloy moves to DH. That’ll be rough. But won’t you be happy to save Jerry $9M? Seriously though, giving Rondon DH at bats may seem bad, but he’s a guy who may actually be here in a few years. If he hits 20 HR and can play 2B, that’s a guy you can get behind.
This may seem extreme, but why not just cut him at some point this season. If you can’t move him and he’s just taking time away from young players, what value is he providing? It may make your on field product slightly worse, but you’re the organization telling us to look to the future, so maybe you should too.