Oakland Athletics: Yonder Alonso Wants To Stay In Oakland
By Joey Lopez
The Oakland Athletics have been surprised by Yonder Alonso‘s breakout season this year. Will he stay in Oakland much longer now that he’s productive?
The A’s have gotten an insane amount of production out of first baseman Yonder Alonso this year. Usually when a player outperforms expectations on the Oakland Athletics, they are traded immediately.
Well, maybe not immediately, but the A’s should realize they have a significant trade chip in Alonso this summer.
Alonso, 30, has enjoyed a breakout season so far this year and his numbers are All-Star worthy. Through 61 games this year, Alonso is currently slashing .301/.395/.622 with 17 HR and 37 RBI.
Last year, Alonso hit just .253/.316/.367 with 7 HR and 52 RBI.
Apparently a change in mechanics have helped transform Alonso into a perennial All-Star. His power numbers are way up compared to last season. His .321 ISO trumps last year’s mark of .114.
The power has come at a price, as his strikeout rate (22.4%) is higher than last year’s total (13.9%). Despite the strikeouts, though, Alonso’s .301 average is hard to ignore as is his increased walk rate (13.0%).
The level of production Alonso has provided the A’s has been largely unprecedented. His 17 home runs are a career high and he’s never managed to drive in more than 62 runs in a season.
Along with Khris Davis and Ryon Healy, Alonso has been a big source of power for the A’s offense this year. Davis leads the bunch with 18 homers, but Alonso (17) and Healy (17) aren’t far behind.
As we inch closer and closer to July, the A’s are seriously trying to embrace their youth movement. Alonso’s future in Oakland may come to an abrupt end next month, especially if his production continues to improve.
He Wants To Stay Rooted In Oakland
Alonso has expressed an interest in remaining with the A’s even beyond this season. The A’s, in return, would need to be comfortable enough with the idea of giving Alonso a pay raise.
At 30 years of age, though, Alonso may not be the right candidate, especially for the A’s, tor receive a lengthy contract extension.
The cash-strapped A’s know that their investments need to make sense and extending Alonso, who is making $4 million this year, doesn’t quite add up. In fact, when the A’s resigned Alonso last offseason, many were surprised they did so.
Right now, he’s a bargain, but he’s also great trade bait for a team looking to add some power to their lineup.
The A’s need to remain focused on building their young core and invest in their future. Investing in Alonso is extremely risky and I’m not sure the A’s would be willing to make a deal.
Josh Reddick expressed the same desire to stay in Oakland, but we all know what happened there.
FINAL SAY: Expect the A’s to start unloading their veteran talent, including Alonso, this next month. The A’s are getting younger and they need to stay on course with their youth movement if they want a brighter future.