— Stadium (@WatchStadium) December 15, 2018
In 2018, Alonso hit .250 with 19 doubles, 23 home runs, 83 RBI, a .317 OBP, .421 SLG, and a .738 OPS in 574 at-bats over the course of 145 games. The 31-year-old is also no stranger to manager Rick Renteria, who was the San Diego Padres bench coach in 2012-13 when Alonso played there.
As for Alex Call, the 24-year-old minor leaguer split the 2018 season between the High-A Winston-Salem Dash and Double-A Birmingham Barons. In a combined 123 games, Call slashed .248/.345/.415 to go along with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. The 2016 third round draft pick is a fringe prospect who was not ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 list for the White Sox organization. If anything, this move helps the Sox clear up some of the logjam in the outfield throughout the farm system.
A question that arises from this trade is what happens to Jose Abreu? Alonso has a $9 million vesting option for 2020 before becoming an unrestricted free agent by 2021. Therefore, this might mean that the White Sox are looking for him to stick around and play first base over the next couple of seasons. More likely though, he could switch off with Abreu or serve mainly as the designated hitter. If the White Sox intend to use him frequently as a designated hitter, then this would bring up another question, how does this affect Daniel Palka? Perhaps Palka and Alonso could platoon at DH throughout the season. These are all issues that will likely become clearer during the early months next year.
One other noteworthy aspect of this trade is that Alonso is the brother-in-law of free agent Manny Machado. Could the White Sox use this as a way of enticing Machado to sign with the South Side? It seems highly probable as the Sox have a meeting with the infielder scheduled for next week. When it comes to signing a superstar free agent and having them believe in the vision of the rebuild, it doesn’t hurt to pull out all the stops.
The trade became official by the White Sox early Saturday morning.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) December 15, 2018
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Featured Photo: Associated Press