The new Mariners first baseman didn’t have far to travel to join his new team on Tuesday.
OAKLAND — Yonder Alonso arrived at the Oakland Coliseum early on Tuesday morning and began to clean out his locker in the A’s clubhouse, packing up all of his belongings for the long distance trek down one level to the visitor’s clubhouse to join his new team.
In a weird coincidence that has happened before in baseball, including Ichiro Suzuki being traded to the Yankees while they were playing at Safeco Field, Alonso was acquired by the Mariners in a trade with the A’s for outfielder Boog Powell on Sunday morning. With the two teams opening a short two-game series in Oakland on Tuesday, Alonso’s initial transition is pretty simple.
Well, not completely simple or typical. Because the A’s were playing in Anaheim at the time of the trade, there were few flights to get him back to the Bay Area that night. Instead, he remained at Angels Stadium, watched his now former team play the road trip finale against the Angels in the clubhouse and then flew on the A’s team flight back to Oakland.
“I found out I was being traded about two hours before the game and there wasn’t many flights available,” he said. “So both parties agreed to let me fly with the team, which was good of them.”
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Since both teams had Monday off, Alonso got some time to let the trade sink in. After transferring his locker and getting his Mariners gear, the transition was complete.
“It’s obviously a surreal moment,” Alonso said sitting in the visitors dugout pregame. “It feels a little weird. I’ve been here almost two years. I’m grateful for the opportunity the A’s gave me. It opened the doors for me and my family. Now I’m starting a new chapter. It’s a new beginning with a new team that has a chance to play big games in September. It’s a great opportunity.”
He was immediately inserted into the Mariners’ starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against his old team, playing first base and batting second.
“It’s a big addition to our lineup,” manager Scott Servais said. “We have a number of right-handed pitchers that we are facing in the next few weeks and he certainly handles those guys. He’s had a breakout season. He’ll play a lot.”
Alonso is hitting .286 with a .948 OPS, 15 doubles, 18 homers and 40 RBI vs. right-handed pitching this…