Alonso Linked to Many

Well, at least a few.

A week ago, Yahoo!’s Tim Brown included a blurb regarding Alonso. It wasn’t anything too revealing except for this…

Reds GM Walt Jocketty is shopping young slugger Yonder Alonso(notes) for a closer or No. 2 starter, according to sources. He has spoken to Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Toronto and Oakland, among others. …

The Reds are shopping Alonso? Strange, isn’t it?

Of the teams listed here, all have pieces the Reds may deem as “desirable”.

First of those listed is Tampa Bay, and the piece the Reds may ideally want is that of James Shields. This news is not of the new variety. In fact, that paper is already fading. The Rays may have interest in Alonso, but the Rays appear to want to deal Wade Davis rather than Shields. This, too, is not a new item.

Image: Bo Hussey

But the Rays may have a need at first base. They do appear to be the best fit for the former Hurricane.

A potential deal between the Rays and Reds has been dissected many a time.

Cleveland poses an interesting situation, but I’m not sold on an Alonso-Chris Perez deal. Sure, Perez posted a nice 2011 season registering 36 saves and the Reds may have a real need in a closer, but there are red flags with Perez. Per Jim Piascik of Bleacher Report.

Chris Perez may have finished with 36 saves—good for fourth in the American League—but he is absolutely replaceable. His ERA was a strong 3.32, but his FIP was 4.27, his xFIP was 5.01 and his fWAR was only 0.1. Add in the fact that his SO/9 dropped from 10.74 in 2009 to 8.71 in 2010 to 5.88 in 2011 without a decent corresponding drop in his BB/9 (4.26 in 2009, 4.00 in 2010, 3.92 in 2011), and 2012 Chris Perez is a recipe for disaster.

The severe decline in SO/9 is troubling for a guy that used to hit 95 with regularity. I say “used to” because Perez averaged 93.3 last season, down from 94.5 in 2010.

And Alonso may be attractive to the Tribe. As Piascik points out, there isn’t really any point in waiting any longer on Matt LaPorta. He’s had his chances and hasn’t really taken advantage of those opportunities.

The Blue Jays provide a interesting situation as maybe grabbing a starter, but would the Jays be willing to include Ricky Romero? Doubt it, but what about Brandon Morrow, the current Jays #2? Jays Journal’s Jared MacDonald takes it from here

Brown mentions a No. 2 starter in his article, so it’s implied that the Reds are seeking MLB-proven pitching in return for Alonso and not pitching prospects. Brandon Morrow is currently the Jays’ No. 2 starter, and outside of perhaps Henderson Alvarez, any starter below him like Brett Cecil, Jesse Litsch, or Dustin McGowan would not be enough to entice the Reds in a trade. However, it’s safe to say that there’s no way Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is trading either Morrow or Alvarez unless he’s absolutely blown away.

Well now…

I wouldn’t mind seeing Ricky Romero‘s name mentioned, but that is merely wishful thinking.

If you read all of MacDonald’s post, he provides another reason why a deal with the Jays may not transpire, David Cooper. Cooper is in practically the same position as Alonso. Why would the Jays want to trade for yet another 1B/OF? Only if Anthopoulos has another deal in mind that includes Cooper and/or Alonso. That’s why. And in all honesty, I can see that very scenario occurring.

We all know of the Oakland “deal”, but to review, ESPN’s Buster Olney first tweeted that the Reds were interested in Andrew Bailey. Current ESPN analyst and former Reds GM Jim Bowden added to this tweet and affixed Alonso’s name to the fray. A straight up deal might be out of the question here. I would think Alonso should garner more than just Bailey.

I also have some reluctance with Bailey. He would be coming from a park where fly balls aren’t as “dangerous” as they are at Great American. Bailey’s GB/FB ratio (not including line drives which we know can also leave GABP) is 0.89 for his career. With all the foul territory that is present in Oakland, that can spell for a disastrous season in Cincinnati.

There is now another after Yonder? Apparently so. J.J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago and Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune both reveal that the Chicago White Sox could have an interest in Alonso. Here’s how Stankevitz views a potential deal.

But he (Alonso) also wouldn’t be an ideal return, at least in terms of his position. As long as Alejandro De Aza is on the White Sox roster, there’s no need to acquire another outfielder — unless the team wants to strip Rios of his starting role and send him and his $12 million annual salary to the bench.

Rogers weighs in as well….

Can Yonder Alonso become a solid left fielder? That’s the question the White Sox are studying as the Reds shop the left-handed-hitting slugger for pitching. Alonso would be blocked with Paul Konerko at first base and Adam Dunn as designated hitter, although if the Sox really are willing to let Mark Buehrle walk you wonder if they also would approach Konerko about waiving his no-trade clause.

Could it be that if a team acquires Alonso that they be having to make another deal? Looks that way.

The pieces the Reds may desire are that of John Danks or Gavin Floyd. With the possibility of Buehrle heading out of ChiTown, I truly cannot see the Pale Hose letting either of these guys go if they wish to stay up with the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Then again, the White Sox front office could have other deals brewing as well…

The bottom line is this. No one will have doubts about the bat that Alonso wields. It is MLB ready. The issue is defensive position. Can he play left field? Is he better suited at his preseumed natural position of first base? Would he be better served as a DH? Any American League team that is in the market for first baseman appears ahead in the perceived sweepstakes.

I do have this…What if Alonso can really play left field and what we witnessed last season was merely an aberration? Having a another offseason to prepare for the position switch could prove extremely fruitful.

Yes, just saying.

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Tags: Baseball Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians MLB Oakland A's Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays Trade Rumors Yonder Alonso

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