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.
Asdrubal Cabrera is once again rewarded for his breakout season at the plate as he is named the winner of the Silver Slugger Award in the American League at shortstop. It is the first and only time in his career he has received the honor.
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.
By 2002, the Indians empire that ruled the American League Central Division for the better part of half a decade was done and dusted.
The Tribe had won the division in 2001, but were dispatched by the Mariners in the American League Division Series. By July, they were 39-47, and manager Charlie Manuel, whose contract expired after the season, wanted assurances he’d still be manager the next year. Manuel, who’d served as Indians hitting coach before succeeding Mike Hargrove as manager in 1999, reached an impasse with General Manager Mark Shapiro and was fired over the All-Star break.
“We’re in an awkward transitional period between having a team that we thought could contend to a club that will be rebuilding next season,” Shapiro said in a quote after the move in the New York Times.
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.