27. Oakland A’s (35–47, minus-82, LT: 26)
For a good while, the A’s Twitter account adopted a username of “Vote. Alonso. Now.”, reminding fans to vote for the first baseman who’s been one of the biggest pleasant surprises in the league this year. That All-Star Game message quietly disappeared, a fitting tribute to a player whose numbers have similarly disappeared over the past couple weeks, thus threatening Yonder Alonso’s trade value, right when the A’s would hope it’s peaking.
In his past 12 games, Alonso’s batting just .175, while slugging a punchless .225. He hasn’t had a chance to bounce back from that slump either lately, having made just one plate appearance since Wednesday due a bruised knee. That ugly stretch follows an incredible first 57 games, in which Alonso batted .306/.398/.645, swatting an eye-popping 17 home runs in that time; he’d never before managed even double digits in a season.
If Alonso’s knee heals quickly and he can get back to his mashing ways for earlier this season, he could become fascinating trade bait. Not just a source of empty homer calories, Alonso has retained the excellent batting eye that was his calling card even when he was a rare singles-hitting first baseman. Alonso’s made good on a spring promise to adopt the uppercut approach that’s turned a bunch of pedestrian hitters into big boppers in the new juiced-ball era. That lefty power swing, combined with a complete lack of healthy and productive options at first base in New York, make a trade to the Yankees almost too obvious a fit.