The offseason begins with a lot of minor moves for teams that oftentimes get lost in the shuffle of an otherwise busy fall and winter break from playing.
The Cleveland Indians completed some of their mandatory moves on Monday, adding several players to the 40-man roster, opening another spot by declining an option, and extending one very important qualifying offer.
Injuries have piled up rapidly for the Cleveland Indians and Wednesday’s disappointing collapse in San Francisco added another name to the list of walking wounded.
Boone Logan left the mound in what looked to be a great deal of pain after walking the Giants’ Brandon Belt in the eighth inning and headed straight to the clubhouse with what the team described at the time as a left latissimus dorsi strain. After undergoing an MRI on Thursday in Cleveland, the team announced on Friday that the left-handed reliever had been placed on the 10-day disabled list.
“At the minimum, he’s going to miss significant time,” shared manager Terry Francona prior to Friday’s contest with the Toronto Blue Jays. “There’s not really anything other than that right now. He tore that muscle. He’s going to be down for a while.”
The Cleveland Indians have yet to win an interleague series in 2017. This time, the culprit was a key eighth inning error that led to a big two-run pinch-hit double by Buster Posey off of Bryan Shaw as the Tribe fell again to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon, 5-4.
The Indians have been unable to figure out the senior circuit all year long. They fell to 4-13 in head-to-head matchups with the National League and are now 48-45, just a half game in front of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division.
For baseball fans who like offense, Friday night’s game at Progressive Field between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins was not for you. For those fans who like the old fashion pitchers’ duel, you may have enjoyed the event, unless you are a Cleveland fan, as a first inning solo home run proved to be too much to overcome for the slumping Indians offense as Ervin Santana and the Twins shut out the Tribe, 1-0, on a combined three-hitter.
Josh Tomlin (2-4, 5.87 ERA) looked sharp again on the mound for the Indians on Friday, but was the tough luck loser as one pitch to Miguel Sano just three batters into the game would turn out to be the difference. Santana (6-1, 1.50) worked around traffic on the bases throughout the night, but kept a goose egg in the most important column on the scoreboard for him – Indians runs.
The Indians (18-16) have now dropped six of their last ten and once again failed to open a home series with a win. They have done so just once this season, when they won the home opener against the Chicago White Sox before losing the next two in the series. The Twins (18-14) sit atop the AL Central all by their lonesome with a full game lead over the Indians. They have won ten of their last 14 and have homered in 13 straight during that stretch.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Tuesday what plenty had already known – that the team had come to terms with free agent left-handed reliever Boone Logan on a one-year tender with an option for the 2018 season. The corresponding move that was unknown coming into the day was which player would be losing his 40-man roster spot to make room in the bullpen for the 32-year-old left-hander.
That decision has been made, as the club has designated right-handed reliever Austin Adams for assignment. The team has seven days to trade him, release him, or attempt to pass him through waivers with the intention of outrighting him to the minors.
When it comes to the Cleveland Indians and their pitching staff, there are few weaknesses to be found. After last season’s big trade-deadline of left-handed super reliever Andrew Miller, the only real issue that plagued the Tribe’s pitching staff was injuries and depth. Player-for-player, however, their rotation, plus bullpen, could match up with most in Major League Baseball.
There was one flaw, however. That was the likes of a trusted southpaw in the relief corps outside of Miller. Indians manager Terry Francona did not have a lefty he could trust as a situational pitcher against tough, left-handed hitters. With Miller being a setup man/closer, there was not another trusted left-hander to turn to in the middle innings.
Other than figuring out the first base/designated hitter situation, adding a solid lefty to the bullpen seemed like the next biggest need for the Tribe this offseason. In December, the Indians answered the first need with the signing of the slugging Edwin Encarnacion. He will replace the departing Mike Napoli as the Tribe’s main power source and cleanup hitter.
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.