Our countdown to the kickoff of the 2019 Major League Baseball season returns today, as the earliest start ever (excluding international openers) for all 30 teams will bring players back to the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 77 days
When pitcher Jack Armstrong asked the Indians to wear the number seven for his first season in Cleveland in 1992, he found out that it had already been taken by another new member of the organization, similarly acquired via trade in the offseason.
Armstrong decided to try something new, which was a theme to his journey to Cleveland with his first new franchise of his career after being drafted and developed into an All-Star across the state in Cincinnati. Since he couldn’t have seven, he opted for the number twice and became the first and only Indians player to wear the number 77 in an official Major League game.
The Indians’ moves lately – at least, the ones they’ve been making – have caused me to relive the 2016 World Series. And I don’t like it one damn bit.
The Indians are making some moves, but probably not as many as we’d like. As it stands now, this Indians team is no better than the one that ended the season ignominiously with a sweep by the Astros in the American League Division Series. (It is my fervent hope that the Indians aren’t done making offseason moves, but it feels like that’s starting to border on delusion.)
The Cleveland Indians addressed a roster concern on Sunday afternoon, acquiring catcher Kevin Plawecki from the New York Mets for right-handed pitcher Walker Lockett and minor league utility man Sam Haggerty.
The Indians’ catching position moved from one of depth to an area of concern in a span of less than six months as the team used backstops to address organizational issues. Top prospect Francisco Mejia was traded to the San Diego Padres on July 31 for two relievers – All-Star closer Brad Hand and submariner Adam Cimber. On November 30, the team purged salary by moving 2018 All-Star catcher Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals for reliever Jefry Rodriguez and minor leaguers Daniel Johnson and Andruw Monasterio.
The Indians added another arm to the bullpen mix with their first addition of 2019, signing free agent right-hander Justin Grimm to a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation to spring training in Goodyear, Arizona, next month.
Grimm, 30, spent last season between the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners organizations, with a pair of trips to the Major League Baseball disabled list.