The Cleveland Indians checked off another box on the offseason to-do list on Friday when it signed two players to one-year contracts and tendered contracts to their remaining five arbitration eligible players on the roster.
Reliever Dan Otero and outfielder Abraham Almonte each agreed to one-year contracts with the Indians to avoid arbitration. The Indians also tendered offers to pitchers Cody Allen, Trevor Bauer, Zach McAllister, and Danny Salazar as well as outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall.
The clock is ticking loudly around Major League Baseball as teams have until Friday night (8 PM ET) to decide whether or not to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.
The decisions for the Cleveland Indians may be fairly easy this year, but keeping all seven of their arbitration-eligible players will shrink what little financial wiggle room the organization has all the more.
The Indians set a franchise record for salary spent last season, and with a significant amount of money due to returning players already because of the way many of the existing contracts on the roster are structured, Cleveland is already on the brink of equaling last season’s payroll, and that includes money subtracted by the culmination of the contracts of Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, and other free agents following the 2017 season.
Trevor Bauer brought a no-hitter into the sixth, Jay Bruce was involved in producing all four Cleveland runs, and the familiar bullpen tandem of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen closed out Game 1 in usual fashion as the Indians blanked the New York Yankees with their 20th shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory on Thursday night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
All questions about Bauer starting the opener of the playoffs for the Indians were silenced as his excellent numbers against the Yankees in 2017 continued in his second ALDS Game 1 start in as many seasons for the Tribe. He contained a strong Yankees lineup all game long and got a big effort from one of the newest members of the ball club.
For the second Friday in a row, the Cleveland Indians have had little fun.
The Indians had little answer for Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who struck out ten and set down 18 straight after Cleveland’s lone run, and the Mariners offense staged a walk-off win on a two-run shot by Nelson Cruz off of Cody Allen in the ninth.
Cleveland claimed a second consecutive American League Central Division crown in the late night hours on Saturday night in anticlimactic fashion as the Minnesota Twins fell to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tribe was able to celebrate with another win in its first game as the division champs behind seven shutout innings from Corey Kluber, a big blast from Edwin Encarnacion, and a bit of a dicey finish from the normally reliable bullpen.
The Indians (93-57) won another series to improve to 24-1 in their last 25 games. They wrapped up their homestand with a 9-1 record to push their season mark at home to 45-30. With the AL Central title in tow, the Tribe will look to fend off the Houston Astros for the best record in the league.
Cleveland wrapped up the season series with Kansas City with a 12-7 record while outscoring the Royals, 90-52.
Is there anything that this Cleveland Indians team cannot do?
Finding themselves down in the ninth inning for the first time in a 22-game span, the Indians rallied down to their final out to tie the game against Kansas City closer Kelvin Herrera and won the game on a walk-off single the next inning down the right field line by Jay Bruce as the Tribe clinched a trip to the postseason for the second straight year in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Royals on Thursday night.
With a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians made history, exceeding the Oakland A’s American League record for consecutive wins in a season with 21 (set in 2002) while matching the Major League record of 21 (set by the Chicago Cubs in 1935).
The Indians (90-56) have cut their magic number down to four, with the Minnesota Twins scheduled to play San Diego at 8:10 PM ET from Target Field. One hundred wins are in sight for the club, as they need to go just 10-6 in their final 16 games to reach the century mark for the first time since 1995 and just the second time in club history (111 in 1954). The Indians finished the season with a 13-6 record against the Tigers, outscoring them 110-62.
Eight strong innings from Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and four first inning runs paced the Indians to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers, extending the team’s winning streak to ten straight games.
The Indians (79-56) have guaranteed another winning road trip by taking each of the first six games of their eleven-game stretch away from home. After sweeping three straight in New York to start their three-city tour, they have won each of the first three games in Detroit from a Tigers team that has now entered full rebuilding mode. The win at Comerica Park gave the Indians a Major League leading 43rd road win this season.
As if playing two games was not enough excitement for one day, the Indians and Tigers flirted with the possibility of extra innings in the series opener Friday afternoon from Detroit. After twice letting the Tigers tie the game up, Detroit loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a one-run game, but Cleveland reliever Joe Smith got the always-dangerous Miguel Cabrera to line out sharply to Francisco Lindor at short to give the Indians a 3-2 win in game one of the day’s doubleheader.
It was fitting that Lindor retired the final out after coming through with the go-ahead hit in the top of the inning to give the Indians (77-56) their eighth straight win.
Two first inning runs would be all the support he would get, but Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland bullpen would make the runs stand up as the Indians defeated the New York Yankees, 2-1, in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader from Yankee Stadium.
Bauer and left-hander Jaime Garcia faced off against one another in the day’s first game and the Indians gave Bauer a pair of runs of support before he even took the mound. Francisco Lindor started the game with a single to right. He stole second after a fly out by Brandon Guyer and moved to third on a single to left by Jose Ramirez. A passed ball by Gary Sanchez allowed Lindor to score and Ramirez to move into scoring position and Yandy Diaz delivered the second run of the frame with a single to center.
There were plenty of bombs in the Bronx on Monday, but just one came courtesy of the Bronx Bombers as the Cleveland Indians supported Corey Kluber with four of their own in their defeat of the New York Yankees, 6-2.
The game was everything one could expect from a matchup of two of the top pitchers in the American League and teammates on the league’s All-Star squad back in July. The AL Central’s top club got out to an early lead with their ace on the mound, but would need a power surge in the late innings to ensure a win over the Wild Card leading Yankees.