Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 50 days
The number 50 came out of the Cleveland bullpen eight times in 2019 on the back of reliever James Hoyt.
Ahead of Monday’s deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration-eligible players, the Cleveland Indians made some moves.
Early in the day, word broke that the Indians acquired backup backstop Sandy Leon from the Boston Red Sox for 21-year-old minor league pitcher Adenys Bautista, who spent last season in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Rookie League. Leon was expected to be non-tendered by the Red Sox. The move may have been curious earlier in the day, as Leon joined three other catchers on the team’s 40-man roster, but that issued cleared itself up as the day progressed. The Tribe announced ahead of the 8 PM arbitration deadline that reliever James Hoyt and catcher Kevin Plawecki were not going to be tendered contracts, making the pair free agents.
After the handful of transactions Monday, the Indians’ 40-man roster sits at 39.
Roberto Perez’s three-run blast in a four-run sixth put the Cleveland Indians up for good as they defeated the Minnesota Twins, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon.
In the biggest series of the season, the Indians salvaged their final regular season game against the Twins to claim the season series against Minnesota, 10-9. Needing a sweep over the weekend, Cleveland was only able to earn a win in the finale, coming back from a 4-2 deficit to hold off the top club in the American League Central.
The Cleveland Indians added to their farm depth, as the club announced three minor league deals with free agents on Saturday.
Most notable and experienced of the trio is outfielder Trayce Thompson, who has spent parts of the last four seasons in the Majors. Left-hander Josh Smith signs after spending last season in the Boston Red Sox’s minor league systemb, and right-handed reliever James Hoyt rejoins the Indians organization one day after not being tendered a Major League contract by Cleveland.
All three players received invitations to spring training as part of the terms of their contracts.
Hoyt, an undrafted 31-year-old out of Centenary College of Louisiana and Palomar College in San Marcos, California, has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Houston Astros. He worked in 22 games during the 2016 season, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. He spent 43 games on the mound in relief for the club during their championship season last year, posting a 1-0 record with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP with 66 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He was not part of the postseason roster.