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Indians Sign Brett Myers to Bolster Rotation

Indians Sign Brett Myers to Bolster Rotation

| On 02, Jan 2013

Tuesday the Cleveland Indians opened the new year the same way they finished the old one, by making a free agent signing. This time the Indians signed right-handed pitcher Brett Myers.

Myers, who turned 32-years old in August, was used as a relief pitcher in 2012, splitting time between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox. He made 70 appearances last season, 35 with both the Astros and White Sox, going 3-8, with a 3.31 ERA in 65.1 innings. According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the deal is a one year deal, worth $7 million and includes a club option for 2014.

The Indians have indicated that they intend to use Myers as a starting pitcher, a role he was clear he wanted to renew once he was granted free agency at the end of 2012. Myers has been a consistent starting pitcher, logging seven seasons where he has pitched over 175 innings. He won a career high 14 games in both 2003 and 2010. For the Indians, Myers will be expected to fill the back end of the rotation as a stable, innings-eater who will give the Tribe a chance to win in most starts.

Despite his season in the bullpen in 2012, Myers insistence to start—combined with the size of his contract—indicates the Tribe is serious about putting him in the rotation. Cleveland already has a pitcher in Chris Perez in their bullpen that is expected to make over $7 million in salary arbitration and a pen overloaded with right-handers.

Myers has previously been known as attitudinal and confrontational in his time with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. This certainly seems like a signing the Indians are more willing to make with veteran manager Terry Francona now at the reigns and in control of the clubhouse than with previous managers.

It is likely at this point Myers will be joined in the rotation with Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Zach McAllister. Carlos Carrasco—who is out of options—is returning from Tommy John surgery and may have to compete with Corey Kluber, Jeamar Gomez and Scott Kazmir for the final spot in the rotation. Cleveland could still work to improve their pitching staff that was one of the major results in the Indians’ second half slide.

The Cleveland Indians are expected to formally introduce Nick Swisher, their major free agent signing to end 2012, Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images