The Cleveland Indians addressed their notable deficiency in left-handed pitching on Thursday, coming to terms on a minor league contract with ageless veteran Oliver Perez.
According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, Perez could make $1.25 million if he makes the Indians roster and that the contract includes another $1.5 million in performance incentives. His deal also includes an invitation to spring training, where he will be one of just a small handful of southpaws competing for a role in the club’s bullpen.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Cleveland Indians and free agent right-handed reliever Blake Parker have come to terms on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training on Monday.
Parker could earn near $2.5 million with the Tribe if he makes the club and hits incentives, per Heyman’s report.
Gamel’s signing was announced by the Indians on Thursday. News on the addition of Hamilton was not formally announced by the club and was said to be pending a physical, but was first reported by Daniel Alvarez Montes (El ExtraBase). Both contracts are expected to be minor league pacts with invitations to spring training.
In one of the bigger surprises in a brutal offseason for Cleveland Indians fans, the front office stunned the disappointed fan base by spending some money, inking free agent outfielder Eddie Rosario to a one-year, $8 million contract for the 2021 season.
With the cash-strapped Tribe seemingly more committed to building a roster on the cheap, Cleveland addressed a multi-year organizational position of weakness by bringing in the familiar Rosario, who had spent the last six years patrolling the outfield of the division rival Minnesota Twins.
Cleveland’s quiet offseason on the free agent market ended formally on Friday, when the city’s baseball team announced the return of second baseman Cesar Hernandez.
Salary slashing had been the theme of the Tribe’s winter front office work, with tens of millions cut from the payroll in the releases of Carlos Santana, Brad Hand, Tyler Naquin, and Delino DeShields among others and the trades of Carlos Carrasco and Francisco Lindor. With future pending financial obligations at a shockingly low figure and with only a handful of players slated to make much more than pre-arbitration rates, the club elected to reallocate a few of the available funds to bring back one of the Indians’ best surprises in 2020 in Hernandez.
Baseball has a problem staring it in the face and no more obvious is that dilemma apparent than at the downtown Cleveland offices of the franchise soon-to-be remembered as the Indians.
Plenty of uncertainty loomed over the state of the Major League Baseball landscape with the persistent public squabbles that put the 2020 season in jeopardy due to the safety and logistical concerns created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the country beginning ten months ago. While owners and players were ultimately able to get in 60 unattended regular season games at a financial loss, the ramifications of the lost revenues cast a gray cloud over the game as teams have had to adapt and adjust to the changed marketplace. The disjointed relationships between owners and players and the fiscal damages sustained, plus the wrecking ball smashed into the minor league system, all spell some unpleasant feelings about how negotiations may transpire as time ticks away on baseball’s most recent collective bargaining agreement, set to expire on December 1 of this year.
As for the Cleveland baseball club, the efforts of the front office this offseason seem to spell out both doom and gloom as the perennial playoff contending roster has been systematically dismantled for cheaper alternatives while once again putting the organization in a negative spotlight. Most recently in the news for its decision to rebrand for 2022 in the sake of political correctness, now the Dolan-led front office group is being criticized for having an active team salary base that is less than individual one-year commitments that teams have made to several dozens of the game’s brightest stars. Thursday’s trade of future big earner Francisco Lindor and moderate investment Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets further highlighted the Indians’ extensive cost-cutting efforts.
If the team was looking to roll out “Pennypinchers”, “Scrooges”, or “Misers” as its new moniker moving forward, it has hit the ground running in embracing the name.
Cleveland fans were warned in March of 2019 to “enjoy him”, but the long anticipated move finally happened on Thursday as the Indians announced the trade of four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets.
Joining Lindor in relocating to Queens was starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, the longest tenured representative of the franchise and a fan favorite after his public battle with leukemia two seasons ago. His name was floated about some during the Winter Meetings, but with several years of control at what was perceived as a reasonable cost, his inclusion frees up significant finances over the next few years from a position of strength in the Indians organization. The Indians have previously over the last several years dealt from the starting rotation, removing Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Corey Kluber for packages of prospects or just general salary relief.