Indians Extend Offers to Eight, Non-Tender Manship
Bob Toth | On 03, Dec 2016
The Major League Baseball deadline for extending offers to arbitration eligible players came and went on Friday and the Cleveland Indians tendered contracts to eight of the nine players that were set to exchange salary figures when clubs and players meet in January.
The large group of players, including five relievers, two starters, and two outfielders, were given their decisions by the Indians, with all but Jeff Manship retained. The 31-year-old veteran right-hander now becomes a free agent.
Players tendered contracts by the club include relievers Cody Allen, Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, and Bryan Shaw, starters Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar, and outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer. Unless deals are struck prior, players and the team will trade salary figures in January with possible arbitration hearings scheduled for February if needed. Allen and Shaw are expected to see the biggest salaries of the players tendered.
Manship, projected to receive a raise in the vicinity of $1.2 million, saw his numbers plump up from an impressively productive half season with the Indians in 2015. He put together a respectable 2-1 record with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.43 WHIP, six holds, and one blown save in 53 outings last season as part of a bullpen that became a force for the club in the latter half of the season and on into the postseason.
Over the course of the year, he allowed a .241 batting average to both left-handed and right-handed hitters, but struggled some to limit foot traffic against the righties. They drew 16 walks (12.8% of plate appearances) against the right-handed Manship while striking out 27 times. Left-handers took him deep at nearly twice the rate that right-handers did, as he allowed three homers in 64 plate appearances to lefties as opposed to four in 125 trips to righties.
The bulk of the scoring damage he allowed occurred at home at Progressive Field, where he had a 4.05 ERA in 23 games (14 runs/9 earned runs allowed in 20 innings). Away from home, he sported a 2.31 ERA, but he walked 16 batters and gave up 18 hits in 23 1/3 innings.
His season at times was a roller coaster ride, rotating months of effective and ineffective results. He did not allow a run in eight April appearances, despite walking four and giving up five hits in six innings. He was tagged for seven runs in eight and two-thirds innings in ten May appearances, but responded with just one run allowed in six games and six innings in June. July was rocky, as he allowed eight runs on eleven hits in eight and two-thirds innings over 13 appearances for a 5.19 ERA and 1.62 WHIP before settling in to a strong August, walking three and giving up three hits in six scoreless innings over seven outings. He ended the year by walking a season-high six batters in eight innings of nine appearances.
In situations described as “low leverage”, he walked more than half of his batters for the season while allowing a .270 batting average. He appeared at his best in “medium leverage” spots, holding the opposition to a .132 average, but when the intensity ramped up to “high leverage” situations, he allowed a .286 average and .355 on-base percentage while striking out four and walking three in 31 plate appearances against him.
He appeared sparingly in the playoffs, making one appearance in the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, throwing one and one-third scoreless innings in his postseason debut while giving up a hit and striking out one. He made two appearances in the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, giving up two hits and a walk with one strikeout in one inning of work against seven total batters.
The Indians added the reliever to their bullpen mix in the middle of December in 2014. After heading to Triple-A Columbus at the end of spring ahead of the 2015 season, he performed well for the Clippers and got a midseason call-up to Cleveland, where he was 1-0 with a 0.92 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 33 strikeouts and ten walks in 39 1/3 innings over 32 games.
While his projected $1.2 million salary was affordable, the Indians are looking at a higher payroll than normal after the acquisition of Andrew Miller at the deadline last season, the raises due to the other eight arbitration eligible players, and salary increases for another half dozen players returning to the team for 2017. Manship was made all the more expendable thanks to a slew of young and cheap options who spent time last season between the Major League bullpen and that of the Columbus Clippers. The Indians rotated the likes of Austin Adams, Shawn Armstrong, Joe Colon, Kyle Crockett, and Perci Garner through the bullpen doors last season, and the club has already added left-handers Tim Cooney and Edwin Escobar to that mix via waiver claims this offseason.
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