Alonso gets breather as trade rumors swirl

A's slugger recipient of 2017 Heart and Hustle Award

July 19th, 2017

OAKLAND -- Amid rampant speculation that he could soon be on the move, 's name was curiously missing from the A's lineup Tuesday night. Rest assured, it was for only rest purposes.

A's manager Bob Melvin said he targeted the second installment of a three-game series against the Rays as a scheduled day off for both Alonso and outfielder Matt Joyce, allowing him to counter Tampa starter with a righty-heavy offering.

The veteran ultimately entered the 4-3 loss as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and struck out in his lone at-bat.

Earlier in the day, Alonso was named the A's recipient of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award, which "honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game," per a release by the MLB Player Alumni Association.

The award is voted on by former players.

"Yonder has an outstanding respect for the game and always gives his all on the field," MLBPAA chief executive officer Dan Foster said in a statement. "His passion has earned him this distinct award."

Past Oakland winners include , , Josh Donaldson and , among others.

"You look at the names here in the past, and they've been significant, so a lot of good things for Yonder this year, and this included," Melvin said. "So just another feather in his hat in what has been a terrific season for him."

It's been quite a banner year for Alonso, who enjoyed his first career All-Star appearance in his adopted hometown of Miami last week as the A's lone representative.

The veteran infielder has already shattered his previous career-high home run mark (9) with 21, and his power surge has drawn notice around the league, particularly by clubs seeking first-base help ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline.