Mariners acquire All-Star Yonder Alonso from Oakland for Boog Powell
After a quiet trade deadline, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto rediscovered his identity, making 2 trades on Sunday morning. The biggest of these was the acquisition of 2017 All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso.
Alonso, a 30 year old former first round pick, is having a breakout season in 2017. His 22 home runs are already a career high. His .266/.369/.527 slash and his 140 wRC+ point to a breakout season for the once highly touted prospect.
Alonso has cooled after a red hot start, hitting just .210 with a .329 OBP since June 22. But he has picked it up some over the last 9 games, slashing .261/.433/.435. Alonso is also known as a quality defender at first base.
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Even before his power outburst, Alonso has always been a solid platoon bat against righties, boasting a career .277/.348/.421 slash line against them. Those numbers are even better in 2017, where he is slashing .289/.391/.557 with 18 of his 22 homers.
Where Alonso slides into the lineup is a bit unknown at this point. The simplest idea is that Alonso will platoon with current Seattle first baseman Danny Valencia. This makes sense, as Valencia is slashing .297/.368/.556 against lefties.
Alonso also provides some insurance in case the 37 year old Nelson Cruz needs a day off or misses time with a myriad of injuries he has accrued.
In exchange for Alosno, Seattle sent AAA outfielder Boog Powell. Powell has appeared in 23 games for the Mariners in 2017. Powell was smashing AAA pitching, and appears ready to stick in the big leagues long term. Unfortunately for Powell, the M’s simply did not have a spot for him, being stuck behind Leonys Martin, Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia, Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger. The Mariners also have young outfielders quickly approaching the big leagues in Ian Miller and Braden Bishop.
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This is one of the rare deals where Dipoto has sacrificed club control for a short term game. Alonso is a rental, as he will enter free agency after the World Series. The Mariners have no obvious answer at first in 2018, and will now get Alonso for a 2 month try out.