CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – With bigger names still on the first base market, the Cleveland Indians found their replacement for Carlos Santana as they signed 2017 All-Star Yonder Alonso. The deal is reportedly worth $16 million over two years, with an $8 million vesting option for 2019.
Alonso split the year between Oakland and Seattle, being dealt at the trade deadline for rookie Boog Powell. Following the All-Star break, the 30-year-old slashed just .254/.354/.420 in 223 plate appearances.
The left-hander hit 28 home runs in 2017, more than tripling his previous career-high of 9, and almost matching his career total coming into the season (39). Alonso was one of many hitters with a noted change in launch angle, embracing the “elevation revelation” to almost the tune of double what he had.
In 2016, Alonso boasted a 10.3-degree launch angle, .6 below the league average. In 2017, he ranked 10th in baseball with a 19.4-degree average.
Defensively, the 6-foot-1 Alonso has poor metrics over his last 2200 innings at first, sporting -1.1 and -3.3 UZR/150 numbers in 2016 and 2017 respectively, with a combined -12 DRS. Though, in his 3500 innings at the position prior, he posted 29 DRS and fine enough play to keep his UZR/150 positive for his career at 1.9.
Despite those poor metrics, his teammates in Oakland raved about his defense.