The Colorado Rockies have signed first baseman Yonder Alonso to a minor-league deal. He is in the starting lineup tonight for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Rockies. Alonso was released by the Chicago White Sox on July 3.
Alonso, 32, hit .178/.275/.301, with 7 home runs in 251 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2019. The White Sox acquired Alonso from the Cleveland Indians this past offseason, but things obviously didn’t work out as planned on the south side. As Alonso is the brother-in-law of Manny Machado, there was speculation at the time that the White Sox made this move in an attempt to lure the superstar infielder to the team. Obviously, that didn’t pan out either.
There isn’t an obvious fit on the Rockies for Alonso, though he could replace Mark Reynolds as a bench bat. In terms of Deserved Runs Created-Plus (DRC+), Alonso and Reynolds have produced numbers of 79 and 69, respectively. Unlike the right-handed Reynolds, Alonso bats from the left side of the plate. Alonso does carry interesting reverse splits, batting a productive .261/.370/.500 in 54 plate appearances against southpaws.
Defensive metrics had regarded Alonso as a plus defender at first base early in his career, though he has rated as average to slightly below average as of late.
In his career, Alonso, a native of Havana, Cuba, has batted .259/.332/.402, with 97 home runs across ten seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (for whom he was the seventh overall pick in 2018), San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Indians and White Sox. He was at his most productive with Oakland in 2017, hitting .266/.369/.527, with 22 home runs for the A’s and earning an All-Star nod before being traded to Seattle later in the year.