The free agent market has been slow to develop this offseason, but even with that, two former Valley Leaguers have recently signed, and now know with what organization they will play in 2018!
- Alex Wimmers (Luray 2008) has signed a minor league contract with a spring training invitation with the Miami Marlins. Alex has pitched in the majors in both 2016 and 2017 with the Twins, but now will take his talents to South Beach. Alex wasn’t great in Minnesota in 2017- he went 0-0, 4.91 in 7 1/3 innings, with a 2.182 WHIP, 9.8 B/9, and 8.6 K/9- but he was better in Triple-A Rochester, where he went 7-3. 3.23 in 47 1/3 innings, with a 0.930 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and 9.1 K/9. He will most likely start in Triple-A for the Marlins, although you never know!
- Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006) has signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Indians (along with an option for a third). Yonder will make $7 million in 2018, $8 million in 2019, and has a $9 million option for 2020, that includes a $1 million team buyout. The option will be guaranteed if Yonder has either 550 plate appearances in 2019, or 1,100 plate appearances over 2018 and 2019 combined. (Oddly, Yonder has 550 PA in a season only once in his career- back in 2012.)
Yonder had a breakout major league season in 2017, hitting 266/365/501 in 451 at-bats, with 22 doubles, 28 home runs, and a 133 OPS+. Yonder will most likely start at first base for the Tribe. (You know, I was just listening to a podcast this morning that claimed that Yonder’s signing with Cleveland means that, perhaps, Manny Machado will sign there after the 2018 season, as Manny married Yonder’s sister. Hmmmm.)