Crockett and Baker on the Move as Pair Picked Up on Waiver Claims
Bob Toth | On 27, Nov 2017
Two pending roster moves were resolved for the Cleveland Indians on Monday when a pair of recently designated pitchers were claimed off of waivers by National League Central clubs.
Left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett and minor league right-hander Dylan Baker are on the move in separate waiver claims, resolving their roster statuses with the Indians after being designated for assignment by Cleveland last week in advance of rosters being set for the Rule 5 draft.
Baker and Crockett were roster casualties for the Indians, who cut ties with the pitchers to make room for several new additions to the roster, including prospects Willi Castro, Yu-Cheng Chang, Julian Merryweather, and Eric Stamets. The team also needed a spot for utility man Rob Refsnyder, who was claimed off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Crockett was added to the 40-man roster of the Reds, where he could factor in the bullpen for the young Cincinnati club. The 25-year-old southpaw appeared in just four games for the Indians during the 2017 season in his fourth season with the team and his fifth year in the Cleveland organization. The left-hander, who made a meteoric rise through the farm system less than a year after being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, fell from grace rather quickly and saw decreasing opportunities over his Indians career after a breakout rookie campaign that saw him appear in 43 games while posting a 4-1 record with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
In addition to his four games with the Indians in 2017, he spent the majority of his time at Triple-A Columbus. He had performed better with the Clippers last season, working in 51 games in relief with a 5-5 record, four saves, a 3.38 ERA, and a 1.10 WHIP while showing statistical improvements in his strikeout and walk rates.
Baker is much more of an unknown commodity and was a bit of a curious addition to the Indians’ 40-man roster following the 2015 season. Injuries have kept him off of the mound for significant stretches of his career, but the hard-throwing Alaskan right-hander was worth a flyer for the Milwaukee Brewers, who claimed the 25-year-old and added him to their 40-man squad.
Taken in the fifth round in 2012 out of Western Nevada College, Baker missed nearly two full seasons in 2015 and 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. His return to the mound in 2017 was limited to just 17 appearances while working exclusively in relief for the first time in his professional career.
Baker took to his Twitter account to share the news of his new stomping grounds while thanking the Indians organization.
— Bake (@dylanbaker30) November 27, 2017
The offseason has been relatively quiet for the Indians organization, which stands to possibly lose key contributors to its playoff roster from this past season in free agents Carlos Santana, Jay Bruce, Austin Jackson, and Bryan Shaw.
The losses of Baker and Crockett now make three players from the organization to move this offseason. The San Francisco Giants signed 25-year-old minor league outfielder Luigi Rodriguez, who spent 2017 at Double-A Akron, to a minor league pact less than two weeks ago.
Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images