Tribe and Tomlin Agree to Two-Year Extension
Bob Toth | On 26, Jan 2016
The Cleveland Indians announced today that they have signed pitcher Josh Tomlin to a two-year contract extension with a club option for the 2018 season.
The 31-year-old Tomlin, who is the longest tenured player in the Tribe organization, had previously agreed to terms on a $2.25 million contract to avoid arbitration earlier in the month. His new deal adds on $2.5 million for the 2017 season with another $2 million available in incentives. The team controls an option for 2018 for $3 million, with another $2 million in incentives, and guarantees Tomlin another $750,000 in the event the contract is bought out.
In all, the deal amounts to a minimum of $5.5 million for the right-hander, who was eligible for free agency following the 2016 season.
Securing Tomlin for several more seasons does put a larger question mark on how the Indians starting rotation will shape up during Spring Training. Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco have both proved their worth and signed long-term contract extensions last offseason. Danny Salazar was an equally strong performer in the rotation and would seem to have secured a spot as well. The final two remaining spots were thought to have come down to Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, and Cody Anderson, but with the ink drying on Tomlin’s deal, it would appear he would have a leg up on that particular competition.
If in the rotation, as would be expected by the deal, the softer-tossing Tomlin would make an intriguing complement to a hard-throwing Tribe pitching staff.
According to Fangraphs, four-seam fastball velocity for both Salazar (94.9 MPH) and Carrasco (94.5) ranked in the top 10 of all qualified starting pitchers across baseball last year. For two-seamers thrown by MLB qualified starters, Carrasco (94.3), Kluber (94.2), and Salazar (94.2) ranked 12th through 14th, with Bauer (92.9) coming in at 19th.
Tomlin, by comparison, averaged 88.5 MPH on his four-seamer while mixing in a cutter, curve, changeup, and slider.
The 6’1” Tomlin turned 31 on October 19th. He was selected by the Indians in the 19th round of the 2006 draft out of Texas Tech University and made his debut with the club four seasons later.
Injuries have hampered him throughout his career, but in his ten game sample size last season, he was 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA and two complete games. While he allowed 13 homers in 65 2/3 innings, only 15 runs scored on the long ball as eleven of the shots were solo.
He limited that damage with his impressive 0.84 WHIP for the season.
Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer