The Cleveland Indians completed a trade on Wednesday, but you can exhale if you were worried about one of your favorite starting pitchers being dealt away – at least for now…
The Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates paired up on a five-player swap, with Cleveland sending utility man Erik Gonzalez and two minor league prospects to Pittsburgh for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
At the beginning of the month, Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that the Indians would listen to potential trade offers for their starting pitchers, and I don’t know about you, but I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million voices cried out in terror remembering dealing successful starting pitchers as the team’s way of running up the white flag.
And who can blame them? Nearly a decade ago, the Tribe became the first team to trade back-to-back Cy Young Award winners, dealing CC Sabathia at the deadline in 2008 to the Brewers, and Cliff Lee to the Phillies the following year – when he still under contract for another season. (Just for good measure, the Indians traded Victor Martinez two days after dealing Lee.)
Cleveland’s Yu Chang delivered a big two-run triple for the West team in their walk-off win over the East team in the annual Fall Stars Game on Saturday.
Chang, one of two Indians prospects selected to the roster of the West squad this season, was one of the star performers in the exhibition, breaking a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with his clutch knock. The AFL East team rallied with three runs in the top of the eighth to take their first lead since the top of the first, but the West got back-to-back hits with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and then steal a walk-off win.
The Cleveland Indians opted not to extend qualifying offers to any of the club’s pending free agents this offseason ahead of the deadline on Friday.
The Tribe’s long list of departing free agents including three names that merited some discussion, but instead, the Cleveland front office elected not to offer the one-year, $17.9 million tender offer to any of its veterans, including Cody Allen, Michael Brantley, and Andrew Miller. The significant financial commitment to any of the trio could have severely limited the Indians in the offseason, as funds appear tight and would have only become tighter if the contracts were accepted. By electing not to offer them the qualifying offer, the team forgoes an opportunity to receive draft pick compensation if they were to sign with other teams.
The outfield is undoubtedly one of the largest areas of concern for the Cleveland Indians this offseason, and they have one less question mark to address as the club agreed to a one-year, $3 million agreement with Leonys Martin on Wednesday to avoid arbitration.
Martin was the Tribe’s big deadline acquisition in 2018, but he made it into just six games before enduring a bout with a bacterial infection that ended his season and could have ended his life.
While the conclusion of the 2018 playing season came just Sunday night, teams around the Major League Baseball landscape are already back to work on making roster decisions that will affect 2019 and beyond.
The Cleveland Indians resolved a pair of these problems on Tuesday, when the team announced that the 2019 team option for starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco had been picked up, while the option for outfielder Brandon Guyer had been declined.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Monday that its fan favorite event, Tribe Fest, will return for a seventh season of fun activities for people of all ages.
The seventh annual Tribe Fest, presented by Key Bank, will return for a second straight year to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland for a one-day teaser of baseball in the freeze of winter on Saturday, January 12. The site will also be home of fan festivities during All-Star week next July.