Tha Sports Junkies 101

Yonder Alonso Signs with the Indians to Replace Santana

Yonder Alonso Scott U/ via


Just one day after it was made official that Carlos Santana had signed with the Phillies, the Indians found their replacement in the form of Yonder Alonso.  Alonso has not historically been as productive as Santana, but it’s close.  He’s also coming off a career year. The Indians hope the soon to be 31 year old can continue to be the player he was in 2017, for at least two more seasons.  The deal is reportedly worth $16 million over the two years.  Considerable less than Santana’s 3 year $60 million deal.

Yonder Alonso

Alonso is becoming somewhat of a journeymen in the big leagues.  Cleveland will be his fifth stop in his nine seasons.  He was selected in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds gave him his first shot at the Major League level in 2010.  After 2011, he was sent to the San Diego Padres, and spent four years there, three of which he played in 103 or fewer games.  The Padres then traded him to Oakland in 2016, who turned around and traded him to the Seattle Mariners this past August.

Before 2017, Alonso never even sniffed the 20 home run mark.  He had never even hit 10.  In this past season though, he slugged 28 homers.  Unfortunately for him, he only collected 67 RBI, and hit just .266.

Alonso vs. Santana

Despite his low average, his OBP was impressive, sitting two points higher than Santana’s last year, at .365.  Alonso also had a higher OPS+ of 133, which was 21 points higher than Santana’s.  Even with 120 more at bats than Alonso, Santana only topped him in RBI, hits, and runs scored.  Santana did have a higher WAR, at 3.4, than Alonso’s 2, though Santana did play in more games.

Considering the price, production, and situation Cleveland was in, this is a good pick up for the Tribe.  If the two players repeat their previous seasons, the Phillies will be paying just under $5.9 million per WAR, while the Indians pay $4 million.  This leaves Cleveland more than enough resources to allocate elsewhere, in order to pick up the 1.4 WAR that they would be missing.