Indians Making Final Spring Roster Preparations as Logan Joins Bullpen

The start of Spring Training may be just a couple of weeks away, but Major League clubs are still hard at work at finalizing their rosters for camp. The Cleveland Indians made several such moves on Thursday, adding free agent left-handed reliever Boone Logan while finalizing a pair of waiver related issues.

The agreement with the 32-year-old southpaw Boone has not been confirmed or announced by the Tribe and a corresponding roster move will need to be made to create a spot on the 40-man roster for the lefty. His contract is reportedly worth a guaranteed $6.5 million – he is set to be paid $5.5 million for 2017 and his $7 million option for the 2018 season comes with a $1 million buyout.

A pair of other roster issues were ironed out during the day as the club’s pending waiver placements of Jesus Aguilar and Richie Shaffer were resolved.

The 26-year-old right-handed hitting Aguilar was claimed on waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers. He has been added to the team’s 40-man roster and will head to spring camp with the club. He had been in the Indians organization since 2007 and logged 35 games of action over the last three seasons, hitting .172 with a double and five RBI. He hit just .247 for Triple-A Columbus last season, but hit 26 doubles and an International League-leading and career-high 30 homers while driving in 92 runs over 137 games for the Clippers. He participated in the Venezuelan Winter League following the season and hit .314 with ten homers and 22 RBI. He is out of options.

Aguilar had been designated for assignment to make room for the utility man Shaffer last week. Shaffer joined his fifth organization since the end of the season when the Indians claimed him on waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, who had claimed him a month earlier off of waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies. He had spent his entire career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization until he was traded in November to the Seattle Mariners, who placed him on waivers a few weeks later when he was claimed by the Phillies.

The Indians placed Shaffer on waivers earlier in the week when the club purchased right-handed pitcher Carlos Frias from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This time, the 25-year-old and former first round pick cleared waivers unclaimed and was assigned to Triple-A Columbus. He will be in camp with the Major League club on his non-roster invitation. He has a .213/.310/.410 career batting line in 51 games over the last two seasons for the Rays.

The biggest news of the day, however, was the addition of Logan, whose deal was pending a physical. The 32-year-old has logged eleven seasons in the Majors, beginning with his selection in the 20th round of the 2002 draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was traded by the Sox to the Braves following the 2008 season and Atlanta dealt him to the New York Yankees after one year in Georgia. After parts of four seasons in New York, he signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies in December of 2013 and had been with the team since on the three-year, $16.5 million contract that he signed at the time.

Logan was limited to 35 games in his first season in Colorado, posting a 6.84 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over 25 innings. He made 60 appearances in 2015, going 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Last year, his numbers were much better over 66 outings, going 2-5 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.

His platoon splits give plenty of reason why he should be utilized as a matchup LOOGY in manager Terry Francona’s bullpen moving forward. Left-handed batters own a .233/.308/.361 batting line against him with 292 strikeouts over 974 plate appearances (30% of plate appearances). Right-handers have hit .294/.376/.478 off of the lefty with 145 strikeouts in 847 trips to the plate (17%). The disparity between the two numbers was even greater last season – in 119 plate appearances, lefties put up a .142/.222/.255 line at the plate with 40 strikeouts (34%), while righties, over 68 plate appearances, supplied a .211/.338/.421 mark with 17 strikeouts (25%).

Logan has averaged more than eleven strikeouts per nine innings for each of the last five seasons.

The left-hander gives Francona another significant weapon in his already-stacked bullpen. Logan gives the club two strong southpaw relievers and should enable Francona to hold onto his All-Star Andrew Miller until later innings rather than to utilize him in earlier matchup spots. The two will pair with late inning relievers Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw, in addition to the returning Dan Otero and Zach McAllister. A slew of internal returning options (Austin Adams, Cody Anderson, Shawn Armstrong, Mike Clevinger, Joseph Colon, Kyle Crockett, Perci Garner, and Josh Martin) and offseason additions like Frias, Nick Goody, Hoby Milner, and Steve Delabar will battle for the final one to two spots remaining in the ‘pen.

Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

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