Yonder Alonso, Indians Reportedly Agree to Contract

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2017

Seattle Mariners' Yonder Alonso follows through on a solo home run off Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jharel Cotton during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

Coming off a career year in 2017 with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, first baseman Yonder Alonso has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the news Wednesday, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted the agreement was for two years, $16 million with a third-year vesting option of $8 million.

The Mariners acquired Alonso from the Oakland Athletics last August. The 30-year-old had a .266/.365/.501 slash line and hit 28 home runs in 142 games after having 39 career homers from 2010-16.

Alonso's power numbers did drop after the All-Star break. He hit 20 homers in the first half of the season but had a total of 16 extra-base hits in 63 games during the second half.

Because Alonso had never shown the kind of power production in his career that he did early in 2017, there's a strong chance he's unable to duplicate that performance moving forward. The good news is he has been a solid hitter for average with on-base skills even when not hitting for power.

In eight MLB seasons, Alonso has a career .268/.340/.407 slash line. He also hasn't played in a lot of hitter-friendly parks, like Oakland Alameda Coliseum with the A's and Petco Park with the San Diego Padres, so a change of scenery could help him tap into some untapped power.

The Indians have the ability to use Alonso at the top of their order, taking advantage of his on-base skills, to set the table for the heart of their lineup to drive him in. He can also add length to the bottom part of their lineup by getting on base and hitting an occasional home run, if his power spike last season was a fluke.

Alonso's ability to get on base makes him a good fit for what Cleveland needs to improve on last season's playoff exit.

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