Brantley, a ten-year big leaguer who has spent his entire Major League career in Cleveland, will start a new chapter in his life as he came to terms on a two-year, $32 million agreement with the Houston Astros. Davis, who just completed his second one-year tour with the Indians, inked a minor league deal with the New York Mets with an invitation to spring training.
The Cleveland Indians announced Monday the acquisition of minor league infielder Andruw Monasterio from the Washington Nationals to complete the two clubs’ previous swap revolving around All-Star catcher Yan Gomes.
Just 21 years old, Monasterio completed his fifth pro season in 2018. He has logged innings at second, third, and short, but the two positions up the middle have been his primary residences on the diamond. It marks the second time in the span of four months that he has been on the move, as the Nationals had only acquired him in the back half of August as the return for veteran second baseman Daniel Murphy ahead of the waivers trade deadline.
After acquiring Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers in trades on Thursday, the Cleveland Indians suddenly had a plethora of first base options on the roster. The Tribe removed one of those candidates on Friday night, when the team traded first baseman Yonder Alonso to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder prospect Alex Call.
In a clear cost-cutting move by the Indians front office, Cleveland dealt Alonso and his $8 million contract for 2019 to the southside of Chicago for Call, who adds another needed piece of outfield depth to the organization after the club lost Michael Brantley, Melky Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Rajai Davis to free agency and cut ties with Brandon Guyer already this offseason.
The Cleveland Indians did not participate in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, but they did lose a player along the way.
Pitcher Kyle Dowdy was selected with the tenth overall pick by the New York Mets. The right-handed pitcher recently joined the Indians organization, acquired in July’s trade with the Tigers that brought outfielder Leonys Martin to Cleveland and sent infielder Willi Castro to Detroit.
The Rule 5 draft, held annually on the final day of the Winter Meetings, allows eligible players to be selected if not protected by placement on their club’s 40-man rosters. Players are deemed eligible if they have played five or more seasons of professional baseball after signing at 18 or younger or if they have played four or more seasons after signing at 19 and up. Rule 5 picks cost selecting clubs $100,000 to make.
In the final moments of this year’s Winter Meetings, the Cleveland Indians swung a three-team trade, sending Edwin Encarnacion and a Competitive Balance Round B pick in the 2019 draft to Seattle and both Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay in exchange for the Mariners’ Carlos Santana, the Rays’ Jake Bauers, and cash.
The wild offseason for Santana continued as he was traded for the second time in less than two weeks. Last winter was eventful for the longtime Indians slugger as he hit free agency and signed a big pact with the Phillies, but after one season in the City of Brotherly Love and the emergence of Rhys Hoskins as an everyday first base option there, Philadelphia dealt Santana to Seattle as part of the package to acquire shortstop Jean Segura.
A former Indian was elected to the Hall of Fame on Sunday night.
It wasn’t the one I’d hoped for. It wasn’t even one I thought would be elected – and that’s the problem.
Lee Smith and Harold Baines – who was a member of the Tribe, albeit briefly, in 1999 – were announced Sunday night, the first night of the winter meetings, as the Hall of Fame inductees for the Today’s Game era. Other candidates on the list included former Tribe skipper Charlie Manuel as well as Orel Hershiser, Joe Carter and Albert Belle, all of whom wore Indians uniforms as a player at one point or another in their careers.
Cleveland continues to turn over all stones for bullpen help and added to the mix on Saturday as the club signed outfielder turned reliever Anthony Gose to a minor league contract.
Gose’s deal does not include an invitation to spring training.
The Party at Napoli’s is officially over. Or maybe, it’s only just beginning.
Twelve-year big leaguer Mike Napoli announced his retirement on Saturday afternoon via his social media platforms.
Napoli, who turned 37 on Halloween, missed nearly all of the 2018 season in what was his 19th professional season. After returning for a second stint in the Cleveland Indians organization late in spring training, he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee chasing after a foul popup while playing in his eighth game of the season at Triple-A Columbus. He underwent surgery to repair the injury and missed the rest of the season.
“After much though and consideration with my family, I have decided to retire from the game of baseball,” Napoli shared via social media. “I dreamed about playing baseball since I was a little kid growing up in Hollywood, FL and I was lucky enough to get paid to play a kids game for 18 years.”
Eleven-year Major Leaguer Luis Valbuena, who was a member of the Cleveland Indians organization from 2009 to 2011, was killed overnight in a car accident in his native Venezuela.
Just 33 years old, Valbuena was reportedly killed along with former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jose Castillo when the car that both were passengers in collided with a rock that had rolled onto a road in the Venezuelan state of Yaracuy. The driver of the vehicle, as well as fellow winter ball teammate and former Indians prospect Carlos Rivero, survived the crash according to reports out of Venezuela.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, as there is a belief that the rock in the road was deliberately placed in an effort to force cars to stop or crash so that the passengers could be robbed. Reports out of Venezuela indicate that the scene appeared looted. Both players killed were ejected from the vehicle and were not wearing their seat belts.
With all sorts of rumors circulating about the Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation this offseason, finally there was some good news to ease the collective conscience of the fan base.
On Thursday, the Indians announced a two-year contract extension with starter Carlos Carrasco, whose name had been mentioned among three potential trade candidates as the team looks to build for the present and the future.
Despite a 200-win career over 18 seasons, a Cy Young Award, and a World Series MVP Award, Orel Hershiser did not last long on the Hall of Fame ballot, exiting the process after just two years back in 2007.
This weekend, he will get a second shot, post-BBWAA, as part of the Today’s Game Era balloting, set to be announced from the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday, December 9.
Hershiser’s candidacy is once again up for debate as he finds himself on the Today’s Game Era ballot for the second time in three years. He was previously considered in December of 2016, when he was joined by Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, Lou Piniella, John Schuerholz, Allan H. “Bud” Selig and George Steinbrenner. Schuerholz and Selig were selected as part of the Class of 2017. Baines, Belle, Clark, Johnson, Piniella, and Steinbrenner join Hershiser on this year’s ten-man ballot, with Joe Carter, Lee Smith, and Charlie Manuel joining them. McGwire did not return for this year’s vote.
My phone started blowing up Friday night as word got out that Yan Gomes was being dealt to the Nationals.
My boy William (with whom I’d regularly participated in Cleveland Browns and Indians Q&As) asked why the Indians were dealing their starting catcher, a year after he played in his first All-Star Game. But too many of my Indians fan friends used the same two-word phrase that had me channeling Samuel L. Jackson in “Pulp Fiction”:
SAY “FIRE SALE” AGAIN! I DARE YOU!! I DOUBLE DARE YOU!!!