Roster Moves on Monday the First of Many
By Christian Petrila
One of the busiest offseasons in Indians history is winding down, but the roster shuffling is far from over for Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti.
The Indians announced their Opening Day 25-man roster on Monday, but anyone could see that the roster the team announced would be far from final.
Kazmir was announced as the team’s fifth starter on Monday, but he still isn’t on either roster. However, he likely won’t be officially added to the roster until Apr. 6–the day of his first scheduled start.
The same goes for Raburn. He was told he would be on the bench, but isn’t on either roster. His addition could be expected to come sooner than Kazmir’s, though. As of Monday evening, the Indians were carrying 13 pitchers compared to just 12 fielders. Raburn’s addition to the 25-man will be imperative because otherwise, they’d be extremely short-handed.
Next on the to-do list is figure out who departs from the 40-man roster (or rather how they depart). On Monday evening, Ezequiel Carrera was the first player to be designated for assignment. His roster spot was taken by Jason Giambi, but more spots still remained for the taking.
One of the other players whose time in Cleveland is up is David Huff. Huff was told earlier in the day Monday that he wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster. Once Carrera was designated for assignment, the writing was on the wall that Huff will be next.
The third man likely to lose his spot on the 40-man roster is Chris McGuiness. The first baseman who was taken by the Indians via the Rule 5 Draft was also told he wouldn’t make the roster, but the Indians wanted to keep him. In an effort to get around the draft’s rules which state that a player taken but not on the active roster must be offered back to his original team, the Indians will try to negotiate with the Rangers to keep McGuiness. That way, they’d be able to keep McGuiness in the organization, sending him to the minor leagues and open up his spot on the 40-man roster.
A fourth spot on the 40-man could open up courtesy of Frank Herrmann. The pitcher underwent Tommy John Surgery on Mar. 13. The possibility came up earlier on Monday about him heading to the 60-day disabled list. At first, it seemed that was how Giambi was added to the 40-man roster, but was eventually debunked once Carrera was designated for assignment. However, it still remains inevitable that Herrmann gets sent to the disabled list since pitching in 2013 is an impossibility.
Finally, there’s the Giambi issue. He was added for Carrera after the speedy outfielder was designated for assignment, but will still have to be added to the 25-man roster. This is where Chris Antonetti made his cheekiest move of the day. Giambi was added to the 40-man roster Monday but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. This clever stunt allowed the Indians to keep Carlos Carrasco on the active roster until his six-game suspension is fully served.
The move allows the Indians to do three things. The first is that it immediately addresses Carrasco’s suspension so that isn’t lingering any longer (a year and a half was long enough). The second is that once Giambi is eligible to be activated on Apr. 9, the Indians can send Carrasco to Triple-A and give Giambi his spot on the active roster. Finally, should the Indians need immediate pitching help later in the season, they’d be able to call up Carrasco and have him contribute without delay.
Well played, Mr. Antonetti.
So the Cleveland carousel won’t stop spinning any time soon. The dust should settle some time around mid-April; but until then, the roster moves will be coming fast and furious.
Photo: Chuck Crow/Cleveland Plain Dealer