The Indians have agreed to a two-year, $16 million contract with free-agent first baseman Yonder Alonso, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal includes an $8 million vesting option for 2020.
With ex-Indian Carlos Santana headed to Philadelphia on a three-year deal, the Tribe were forced to dip into the first-base market in free agency. The club was linked to Matt Adams, who agreed to a deal with Washington on Wednesday, before agreeing to terms with Alonso.
Alonso, 30, was an All-Star last season, ending the year with a .266/.365/.501 line and 28 homers in 142 games for the Athletics and Mariners. His OPS regressed significantly in the second half, dropping from .934 over the season’s first 79 games to .774 over his final 63.
Alonso is the first major addition for an Indians club that has already lost Santana, Joe Smith and Bryan Shaw to free agency this winter. The club is said to be considering trade scenarios involving Jason Kipnis, and could upgrade in the bullpen as well.
In eight major-league seasons with Cincinnati (2010-11), San Diego (2012-15), Oakland (2016-17) and Seattle (2017), Alonso owns a career .268/.340/.407 line and 67 homers.
With Alonso, Adams, Santana and Mitch Moreland now signed, teams looking for first-base help will turn to options like Logan Morrison, Adam Lind, Mark Reynolds, Mike Napoli, Lucas Duda and Adrian Gonzalez. Top free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer is still available as well.