ANAHEIM — A’s players got a surprise Sunday morning with news that All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso had been traded to the Seattle Mariners.
After the non-waiver trade deadline passed with Oakland dealing only starter Sonny Gray, it appeared Alonso might be in green and gold through season’s end. But the Mariners claimed him on waivers this week and were able to work out a deal with the A’s.
Outfielder Boog Powell, a former A’s prospect, is coming back to Oakland in the deal. The A’s sent Powell to Tampa Bay in the Ben Zobrist trade of January 2015, and the Rays later traded Powell to Seattle. The A’s haven’t announced who will take Alonso’s roster spot. With Matt Joyce suspended one more game, they will play with 23 players Sunday afternoon against the Angels.
But a likely scenario could have Powell heading to Triple-A Nashville and Matt Olson being called up to platoon with Ryon Healy at first base. Healy draws the start there Sunday.
Teammates, just learning of the news that was announced, came up to Alonso to shake hands and say goodbye, gradually spreading the news to one another of the trade.
“Surprised,” Alonso said of his reaction. “But at the same time excited. I’m going to a team that’s a game out of playoff contention. It’s a lot of fun to play some meaningful baseball, probably for the first time in my career I’ll get to to that (at this time of the season).
“I’m ecstatic, and obviously I can’t thank the Oakland A’s enough for the opportunity I got here, first off. They were able to not only believe in me but … helped me mature and recharge and restart my career.”
In a weird twist, the Mariners are off Monday and actually begin a series Tuesday against the A’s at the Coliseum. So Alonso will simply fly back to the Bay Area to meet up with his new team before taking the field Tuesday before Oakland fans in a different uniform. Alonso is also enthused about being reunited with good friend Danny Valencia, a college teammate and an A’s teammate in 2016.
After the trade, Alonso sent out a heartfelt thank you on Twitter to the A's and all the fans.