All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
Cleveland Indians

Indians sign LHP Ross Detwiler to minor-league deal with spring invite; Chris Johnson released

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 22, 2015
64454ebcbcda9810730f6a706700eee2_r900x493

The Indians signed veteran left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring camp on Tuesday.

Detwiler is the third left-handed pitcher the Indians have signed and invited to camp this week. Among those signed as non-roster invitees by the Indians, Detwiler is the seventh pitcher and the 13th player overall.

Detwiler, 29, has spent time both as a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher in his eight-year career, amassing a 21-37 record and 4.20 ERA overall. Last season was a struggle for

To read more or comment...

Indians invite left-handed relief pitchers Tom Gorzelanny, Joe Thatcher to camp

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 21, 2015
Tom-Gorzelanny-1040x572

At the winter meetings in Nashville earlier this month, the Indians’ top brass said they were interested in bringing in additional left-handed relief options to add to their bullpen mix. That came to fruition on Monday, as the Indians signed Tom Gorzelanny and Joe Thatcher to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to spring training.

Gorzelanny, 33, has a career 4.34 ERA in his career, which spans 11 seasons and five different teams. He spent most of 2015 with the Detroit Tigers, struggling to a 5.95 ERA in 39 1/3 innings pitched, though he did hold opposing left-handed hitters to a .222 average.

Thatcher, 34, has a career 3.38 ERA in 405 relief appearances, most of them coming with San Diego. Last season, he went 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 22 2/3 innings pitched with Houston. In his career, he has limited left-handed hitters to a .232 average.

To read more or comment...

Indians acquire RHP Dan Otero from Philadelphia for cash considerations, DFA Jerry Sands

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 18, 2015

The Indians added another arm to their bullpen mix on Friday, acquiring right-handed relief pitcher Dan Otero from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for cash considerations.

To make room for Otero on the roster, the Indians designated outfielder Jerry Sands for assignment.

Otero, 30, has spent most of this career with Oakland, posting a 12-6 record and a 3.46 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 158 appearances. He will join the candidates to be added to the Indians’ bullpen, along with recent acquisitions Kirby Yates, Joba Chamberlain, (reportedly) Joe Thatcher and others.

Sands was made expandable by the recent additions of Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler to the outfield mix.

To read more or comment...

Indians DFA Chris Johnson to make room for OF Rajai Davis

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 17, 2015
Chris-Johnson-Frank-Jansky-AP

The Indians on Thursday designated infielder Chris Johnson for assignment to make room for recent free agent signee Rajai Davis on the 40-man roster.

The move means the Indians were willing to eat the remaining $17.5 million on Johnson’s contract instead of having him hold up a roster spot on the active 25-man or 40-man rosters. Johnson was owed $7.5 million in 2016, $9 million in 2017 and had a $1 million buyout for 2018 if his option wasn’t picked up by the club, for which the Indians are still responsible.

The Atlanta Braves, in order to get rid of Johnson’s salary hit in 2017, when they hope to be turning their franchise around, were willing to take on the massive contracts of both Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Now, the Indians have rid themselves of every piece resulting from those two signings prior to the 2013 season.

“It was a tough decision,” said Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti. “As we looked at how we’d allocate playing time on our roster moving forward, we found it’d be pretty difficult to get CJ some at-bats. That led to the decision.”

With the signing of Mike Napoli in addition to Davis on Wednesday, the Indians had a logjam at first base, of which Johnson found himself at the bottom. Johnson could have moved to third base, but he’s statistically one of the poorest third baseman defensively and would have blocked Giovanny Urshela. Johnson’s last option would have been a move to the outfield, which he said during the season he was willing to do, but that would have been more of a project and the Indians had already brought in other options, including Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler.

Thus, Johnson was one of the highest-paid players on the team but one who would have needed finagling to get into the lineup on a consistent basis. Instead of letting go of a younger piece on the 40-man roster, the Indians chose to simply take their losses with Johnson.

“What we’ve tried to do is focus on what gives us the best chance at the best team,” Antonetti said. “And that’s the sense through which we try to make decisions. We didn’t get there easily, but we felt as we looked at our alternatives, this was the direction we needed to go.”

To read more or comment...

Indians reportedly reach one-year, $5.25 million deal with CF Rajai Davis

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 16, 2015
athletics_tigers_base_si

The Indians fulfilled a second need Wednesday, reportedly signing center fielder Rajai Davis to a one-year, $5.25 million deal, pending a physical.

Davis, 35, last season hit .258 with a .306 on-base percentage, eight home runs and 18 stolen bases for Detroit and per FanGraphs, had a Wins Above Replacement of 1.8. In 2014, he hit .282 and stole 36 stolen bases.

With Davis, the Indians fill a hole in center field, their biggest need this offseason. Abraham Almonte and Collin Cowgill were the likely leading options. Davis now slides into the everyday role.

The Indians on Wednesday also signed first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli to a one-year, $7 million deal. In all, Indians filled two of its biggest needs on the roster on the same day for about $12.25 million and without trading away one of their prized starting pitchers, though in both cases there were more expensive and possibly more productive options available on the free agent market.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman was the first with news of the signing and Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was first on the figure.

To read more or comment...

Indians reportedly sign 1B/DH Mike Napoli to one-year, $7 million deal

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 16, 2015
0524napoli



The Indians on Wednesday agreed to a one-year deal with Mike Napoli, per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The signing is still pending a physical. Per Bob Nightengale, the agreement is for $7 million.

Napoli, 34, will provide the Indians with an everyday option at first base or as a designated hitter along with Carlos Santana. Last season, Napoli hit .224 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI with Boston and Texas. Though after being traded to the Rangers, his season took off, as he hit .295 with five home runs in only 35 games.

Per FanGraphs, Napoli was worth 0.7 WAR in 2015, 2.4 in 2014 and 3.9 in 2013, when he batted .259 with 23 home runs and 92 RBI with Boston.

Napoli would provide an upgrade defensively over Santana. He has a career Ultimate Zone Rating/150 games of 5.6 at first base, while Santana owns a -1.5. This signing could push Santana to the DH spot most days.

It could also push Chris Johnson to either third base or the outfield, as the Indians now have a bit of a logjam. Johnson has been poor defensively at third base, though, to the tune of a career -11.9 UZR/150. Among third baseman with at least 4,000 innings at third base over the past five seasons, Johnson has been the worst defensively by a significant margin. In the outfield, Johnson could act as a platoon right fielder with Lonnie Chisenhall. The Indians also have Jerry Sands, Joey Butler and Collin Cowgill as options in the outfield.

This signing comes on the same day that All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier, who had been connected in trade talks with the Indians, was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team deal.

To read more or comment...

Pete Rose hasn’t helped his own case as Commissioner Rob Manfred won’t lift MLB lifetime ban

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 14, 2015
Pete-Rose-ASG-AP-640x480

The man with 4,256 hits has had about 4,256 chances to put himself in the right light to potentially be reinstated into baseball. It appears as though he hasn’t done that, which is a shame. And so, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday informed Pete Rose that his lifetime ban would remain in place.

This was Rose’s best chance to get back in, with a new commissioner in place and more than 25 years having passed, perhaps slowly washing away the stain. But, Rose will continued to be banned from baseball. And it looks like it is more of his own doing rather than MLB standing on principle.

When Rose was first banned, he accepted his lifetime ban but it came with an opening—he could have a chance to get back in if he reconfigured his lifestyle. It gave him an out, even with a lifetime ban, to make up for a cardinal sin in the baseball world.

But in his September meeting with Manfred—possibly his last chance to make his case—he admitted that he still bets on baseball to this day. To make it worse, per Manfred’s report, Rose first lied about currently betting on baseball and then later changed his answer in the same meeting. Combine that with other acts, for example coming out with his book and overshadowing a Hall of Fame induction week, and Rose hasn’t done the one thing he probably needed to do—find solace and back down. Then there’s the matter of conflicting stories about whether Rose bet on the game while he was a player-manager, and not much progress has been made.

Manfred’s denial of Rose’s reinstatement application didn’t have as much to do with historical significance as it did with Rose not being able to convince him that he was truly apologetic for what he had done, that he had changed his ways and that he wouldn’t do it again. In his 2004 book, Rose admitted to being addicted to gambling, but Manfred points out that to his knowledge, Rose hasn’t sought out serious treatment.

Thus, through Rose’s words and actions over the past 26 years and in this crucial meeting in September, he couldn’t show Manfred that he wouldn’t again break Rule 21, MLB’s gambling rule, or that he had proper appreciation for his transgressions against the game.

“In short,” Manfred wrote in his report, “Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989. Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him of Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport. I, therefore, must reject Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement.”

Rose has plenty of supporters among his former colleagues. One of them is Indians manager Terry Francona, who was asked about Rose’s case a couple of times this season. Each time, Francona essentially recused himself from really speaking on the matter, admitting he wouldn't be able to be objective because of the affection he has for Rose as a person. Many of the people who have spent time around Rose think it’d be a great thing if he were allowed into the Hall of Fame.

And there are plenty in other capacities who share that opinion. But Rose was the one in the room, and essentially being caught in a lie during that meeting—after the numerous times he refused to come full circle—pretty much sealed his fate, if it wasn’t already.

It’s not really a surprise that Rose’s ban isn’t being lifted. Perhaps it’s a shame he wasn’t able to make a better argument on his own behalf.

To read more or comment...

Indians lose RHP Josh Martin to San Diego Padres in Rule 5 Draft; Add LHP Brian Moran to minors

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 10, 2015

The Indians' 40-man roster is full, meaning they can't take part in today's Rule 5 Draft at the winter meetings in Nashville. But other teams can pluck unprotected players from their system.

The San Diego Padres, holding the No. 8 pick, did just that, selecting right-handed pitcher Josh Martin off of the Indians' Triple-A Columbus roster.

The Rule 5 Draft allows teams to select eligible players from other teams' minor-league systems. Rule 5 eligible players include those who were signed before turning 19 and have been in an organization for five years or those who were signed after turning 19 and have been in minor league baseball for four years. Any player who fits that description and isn’t on a 40-man roster is eligible to be drafted by another team, though that team must keep him on the active roster for at least a full season or offer the player back to his original team.

The Indians recently added five players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the draft, including Tyler Naquin, James Ramsey, Mike Clevinger Shawn Morimando and Dylan Baker.

To read more or comment...

Indians in discussions with Cincinnati Reds about All-Star 3B Todd Frazier, per report

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 9, 2015
ows_143685022037335

The Indians and Cincinnati Reds have engaged in trade talks involving All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier, but the two sides might not be able to find a fit, per reports.

Frazier would be provide an established upgrade at third base for the Indians and bolster the lineup. Last season he hit .255 with 35 home runs and 89 RBI en route to an All-Star bid and a title in the Home Run Derby. Among qualified third baseman, Frazier is tied for fourth in baseball with a combined 9.1 WAR, per FanGraphs, over the last two seasons.

The Reds are currently rebuilding and appear to be open to trading just about all of their established players at the Major League level. They reportedly had a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for closer Aroldis Chapman, but that trade fell apart when a report surfaced that Chapman was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend in October.

But the rebuild continues in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Reds are shopping Frazier heavily, but the Indians might not be able to find a fit, as MLB.com reported that a deal is now unlikely.

To read more or comment...

Winter meetings live blog -- Wednesday

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 9, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.29.28 AM

It's day three of the winter meetings in Nashville, the final full day until Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

This live blog will be updated throughout the day with all the latest from the winter meetings, separated by Indians updates and league-wide news.

Here’s the live blog from day one and day two.

Indians news

[From Monday]

* The Indians maintain that Michael Brantley’s timetable for his return from shoulder surgery has not changed.

* The Indians claimed OF Joey Butler off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

* The team announced construction of a new scoreboard for the 2016 season.

* The Indians are interested in Oakland 3B Brett Lawrie, per a report

* Catcher Roberto Perez could be an option in trades

[From Tuesday]

* In particular with Perez, it looks like the Indians and Atlanta Braves discussed a deal but couldn't find a match, per the NEOMG.

* The Indians are also talking to the Texas Rangers about Perez, according to MLB.com.

To read more or comment...

Indians trying to avoid dealing a starting pitcher but open to all opportunities to improve offense

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 8, 2015
CarrascoChi

If the Indians want to significantly improve their offense, they know they’ll likely have to dip into their starting rotation, the clear strength of the roster. They’re just not wild about that idea.

President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff are reluctant to part with a starting pitcher but know they have a value commodity. In the interest of adding a bat and bolstering a lackluster offense, they’re still listening to all offers.

“Our rotation's been a strength of the team, so we would be very judicious in considering trading away any one of those guys,” Antonetti said. “It’s certainly not our intent. It's not our motivation. We're not looking to do it. But, we have to be open minded. If there's a way for us to really impact our team and make a deal that we think makes us a better, more complete, more competitive team in 2016, we'll be open to it. But, that's a pretty high bar."

Evidenced by the $200-million plus contracts given to starting pitchers David Price and Zack Greinke this winter, the value of top-of-the-line pitchers continues to rise. And with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and perhaps Trevor Bauer under team control for several seasons, the Indians hold a treasure chest of potential in that position and have been fielding consistent calls from teams looking to pry one of them away.

While trying to maximize value for the likes of, in all likelihood, Carrasco or Salazar, Antonetti and Chernoff are continuing to try to find ways to add offense but not lose a key starter.

Antonetti said on Tuesday that the Indians have discussed trades with 22-23 teams involving roughly 25 players, with much of that talk surely being centered around one of the team’s starting pitchers.

“Starting pitching is a little bit different than any other position,” Antonetti said. “Teams only have one third baseman or one shortstop or two catchers, but starting pitchers, there are five spots. I would imagine if you surveyed the landscape around baseball, there isn’t any team where Carrasco or Danny or some of our other guys wouldn’t be better than at least one of their five guys.”

To read more or comment...

Winter meetings live blog -- Tuesday

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 8, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.29.28 AM

It’s day two of the winter meetings, and it looks like the major headline from day one might be getting wiped off the board.

This live blog will be updated throughout the day with all the latest from the winter meetings in Nashville, separated by Indians-concentrated updates and league-wide news.

Here’s the live blog from day one, which includes links to all of yesterday’s Indians stories, including Michael Brantley’s timetable, Joey Butler being claimed off waivers, the announcement of a new scoreboard for 2016 and more.

Indians news

[From Monday]

* The Indians maintain that Michael Brantley’s timetable for his return from shoulder surgery has not changed.

* The Indians claimed OF Joey Butler off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

* The team announced construction of a new scoreboard for the 2016 season.

* The Indians are interested in Oakland 3B Brett Lawrie, per a report

* Catcher Roberto Perez could be an option in trades

Updated 2 p.m.

* In particular with Perez, it looks like the Indians and Atlanta Braves discussed a deal but couldn't find a match, per the NEOMG.

Updated 6 p.m.

To read more or comment...

Indians claim OF Joey Butler off waivers from Tampa Bay

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 7, 2015
White-Sox-Rays-Baseball-1561x1254

The Indians on Monday claimed outfielder Joey Butler off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Butler, 29, last season hit .276 with 8 home runs, 12 doubles, 30 RBI and five steals in 88 games with Tampa Bay in-between stints at Triple-A Durham. He also happened to be the one who broke up Carlos Carrasco’s no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth on July 1.

Butler becomes another option for the Indians in the outfield, along with Michael Brantley, Abraham Almonte, Lonnie Chisenhall, Collin Cowgill and Jerry Sands. Butler still has an option remaining, so he provides additional insurance and could be sent down to Triple-A Columbus if he doesn’t win a job in the spring.

“Joey is a right-handed outfield and DH bat that provides some depth for us and will come in and compete for a spot on the team,” said Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. “He still has an option remaining, so he provides some versatility and depth for us. He had a good year up and down with Tampa last year, had a really good offensive year in the time he was in the major leagues, especially early on and is a guy who could fill one of our spots in the outfield.”

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Indians designated minor-league pitcher Jayson Aquino for assignment. Aquino was acquired by the Indians for cash considerations from the Pittsburgh Pirates at least season’s trade deadline.

To read more or comment...

Indians interested in Oakland A’s 3B Brett Lawrie; Team open to listening on C Roberto Perez

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 7, 2015
Yankees-Indians-Baseb_News1

The Indians are interested in Oakland A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle

Lawrie, who turns 26 in January, last season hit .260 with 16 home runs, 29 doubles, 60 RBI and had a WAR of 0.6, per FanGraphs. Lawrie appeared to be on the fast track in 2012 and 2013 when he registered a combined 4.9 WAR in those two seasons but hasn’t yet taken the step forward so many thought he might.

Lawrie would be under team control through the 2017 season, as he’s currently arbitration eligible.

If the Indians were to deal for Lawrie, he would take over at third base every day and signal that the Indians aren't yet ready to hand those duties to Giovanny Urshela.

Perez on the move?

Much has been made about teams’ interest in one of the Indians’ young starting pitchers, and that they might have to go the trade route to fill other needs. It’s possible they could move catcher Roberto Perez as well.

Perez, 23, hit .228 with seven home runs in 70 games last season and is thought of as one of the better defensive catchers in the league. Perez had a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 110, indicting he was an above average hitter and thanks to his defensive prowess had a WAR, per FanGraphs, of 1.7 despite limited playing time behind starting catcher Yan Gomes.

Perez can be considered above-average both offensively and defensively, and he’d likely be a starter on many teams. If the Indians can find a deal for an outfielder or first baseman/designated hitter, they might not have to take away from the starting rotation and their biggest strength.

To read more or comment...

Live MLB winter meetings blog -- Monday

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 7, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.29.28 AM

Major League Baseball's winter meetings got underway Monday in Nashville.

For those wanting all the latest news, the winter meetings can provide a flurry of moves and a wave of rumors as all 30 franchises hole up in their suites and look to fill needs prior to the 2016 season.

This blog will be updated as news comes in, with Indians news and league-wide news separated.

To read more or comment...

Indians OF Michael Brantley’s expected return date becomes cloudier, possibly later

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 7, 2015
Brantley

The expected return date for Indians left fielder Michael Brantley was already unclear. As the winter meetings get underway in Nashville, it continues to get murkier, though the Indians are sticking with their timetable.

Brantley had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in early November to repair a labrum tear in his non-throwing shoulder that he sustained on Sept. 22 while going after a fly ball in a game in Minnesota. The original timetable for his rehab was 5-6 months, pinning his return in April or May and meaning he’d likely miss roughly the first month of the regular season. The Indians open the 2016 season April 4 against Boston.

It’s possible that the original timetable was a bit too optimistic. Peter Gammons said on MLB Network that Brantley could be out until August. Sources with the team quickly refuted that via MLB.com. The NEOMG then reported Brantley’s return date could be sometime in June, though the team reportedly refuted that as well and later posted an update from their official Twitter account saying there has been no change from the initial timetable.

 

UPDATE: Michael Brantley is on track in his recovery from shoulder surgery. No change at this point from the original return estimate.

To read more or comment...

Indians announce construction of new scoreboard for 2016 season

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 7, 2015
Scoreboard

The Indians on Monday announced a new scoreboard will be installed for the 2016 season as part of the second phase of renovations to Progressive Field.

The new scoreboard, manufactured and installed by Daktronics, will be 59 feet high and 221 feet wide. With high-definition video and a new sound system to be installed with it, the Indians are looking to upgrade the most visible part of the stadium. The old scoreboard had been in place since 2004.

Other scoreboards around the stadium will be updated as well in an effort to provide better access to statistics and scores from around the league.

To read more or comment...

Toronto Blue Jays name Indians VP of player personnel Ross Atkins as new general manager

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 3, 2015

Mark Shapiro is taking someone with him to Toronto after all.

The Blue Jays on Thursday night officially named Ross Atkins, who was serving as the Indians’ vice president of player personnel, as the franchise’s new general manager and executive vice president of baseball operations.

Atkins will take over for the departed Alex Anthopoulos, who denied a contract extension shortly after Shaprio officially took over as president and CEO. Shapiro reportedly scolded Anthopoulos and other members of the Blue Jays’ front office for trading away so many of the team’s top prospects to acquire the likes of David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and others during their most recent run through the postseason.

It was reported earlier this week that Atkins was one of two finalists for the job, along with Tony LaCava, the team’s interim GM. In the end, Shapiro chose to bring some additional Indians presence with him north of the border.

Atkins had been working in the Indians’ front office for 15 seasons and was promoted to VP of player personnel only a year ago. He most recently served as VP of player development (2011-14) and director of player development (2007-10).

Former Indians manager Eric Wedge is also a candidate to join the Blue Jays’ front office in some capacity, per Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal. Wedge managed the Indians for seven seasons from 2003-09, making the postseason once in 2007 with a 96-66 record. He ended his Indians tenure with a record of 561-573. He also managed Seattle for three seasons.

To read more or comment...

Indians acquire OF Collin Cowgill from Los Angeles Angels for cash; RP Nick Hagadone DFA

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 2, 2015
eebbbff2d180bf16560f6a706700e2d8

The Indians on Wednesday night completed their second small trade of the offseason thus far, acquiring outfielder Collin Cowgill from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash considerations.

Cowgill, 29, is well traveled, having spent time with Arizona, Oakland, the New York Mets and the Angels since 2011. Last season was a struggle, as he hit just .188 and played in only 55 games after missing most of the season with a sprained right wrist.   

In terms of his fit with the Indians, Cowgill, who hits right-handed, owns a lifetime .271 batting average against left-handed pitchers and has played all three outfield spots, making him at least an option in center field and as a platoon with Lonnie Chisenhall in right field. Cowgill also gives the Indians an additional option to fill in for Michael Brantley in left field should his recovery from shoulder surgery stretch into the regular season.

“We feel Collin really improves upon the alternatives we had prior to the deal,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said via conference call. “One of the things we like is his versatility and the fact that he’s really capable of playing all three outfield spots and playing them pretty well. And with us being predominantly left-handed in the outfield, his right-handed bat compliments the group of guys we have really well.”

Antonetti added that the Indians have agreed to terms with Cowgill, who was arbitration eligible, for the 2016 season.

The Indians in November also sent considerations to Tampa Bay for relief pitcher Kirby Yates.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Indians have designated Nick Hagadone for assignment and did not tender Hagadone a contract for the 2016 season.

Hagadone is still recovering from surgery after he fractured a small bone in his throwing elbow in July. The original timetable put his return sometime in the spring. Prior to his injury, he struck out 28 in 27 1/3 innings pitched with an ERA of 4.28.

The Indians, per Antonetti, still have interest in retaining Hagadone heading into the 2016 season.

“We’re still hopeful Nick will be able to attribute some way in 2016 and we definitely have interest in bringing him back,” Antonetti said.

To read more or comment...

Indians interested in OF Will Venable, per report; Trade falls through; Indians reunion in Toronto?

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 2, 2015
070215-MLB-Padres-Will-Venable.vadapt.620.high.41

The entire baseball world will embark to Nashville next week for the annual winter meetings, but there is and will continue to be plenty of moves leading up to the trip to Tennessee.

To continue the main storyline of where the Indians stand this winter, they are continuing to seek for help in the outfield and are fielding calls about one of their young starting pitchers.

The Indians, along with the Baltimore Orioles, have both expressed interest in free agent outfielder Will Venable, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

Venable, 33, would be one of the cheaper options on the market. He hit .244 with six home runs and 16 stolen bases in 135 games split between San Diego and Texas last season. He had his best two seasons in 2012 and 2013 with the Padres, hitting in the .260s with at least 24 stolen bases each year. Throughout his career, he’s for the most part been a platoon outfielder, seeing  more time against right-handed pitchers.

Venable has logged most of his time in right field or center field, meaning he’d likely first be an option to fill the Indians’ need in center field.

Trade falls through

The Indians have been receiving heavy interest in their starting rotation since last year’s trade deadline, and that is continuing. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said shortly after the season that all options on the trade market would be exhausted before looking to spend money in free agency. The Indians’ biggest strength is their rotation, headed by 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, all three of which are under control for several seasons with club-friendly or financially-friendly deals. Trevor Bauer is the fourth option there, though his temperament, reputation and poor end to the 2015 season most likely lowers his value.

The San Francisco Giants can be added to the likes of Toronto, New York, Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers as teams who have at least expressed interest in one of the Indians’ starters. This time, it was the Giants calling about Carrasco. Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Indians inquired about first baseman Brandon Belt and second baseman Jose Panik, but “those discussions have faded.”

Toronto Indians

Mark Shapiro could be bringing in some current and former Indians executives and coaches to join him in Toronto.

Shapiro’s tenure with the Blue Jays didn’t get off to the best start after he reportedly scolded GM Alex Anthopoulos and other executives for trading away from of the team’s better prospects, causing Anthopoulos to turn down his contract extension. Blue Jays fans responded by starting an online petition to get rid of Shapiro and bring Anthopoulos back.

Now, Shapiro must find his own general manager. Per Jon Heyman of CBSSports, Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays’ interim GM, and Ross Atkins, current Indians vice president of player personnel, are the two finalists for the job.

Atkins has been with the Indians for 15 seasons and was promoted to VP of player personnel only a year ago. He previously served as VP of player development (2011-14) and director of player development (2007-10).

And in a former Indians manager connection, Eric Wedge is a candidate to join the Blue Jays’ front office in some capacity after a new GM is named, per Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal. Wedge managed the Indians for seven seasons from 2003-09, making the postseason once in 2007 with a 96-66 record. He ended his Indians tenure with a record of 561-573. He also managed Seattle for three seasons.

To read more or comment...

Indians sign relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain to minor league deal with spring invite

By Ryan Lewis Published: December 1, 2015
joba-chamberlain-022714-ap-ftr_173schk167im715l22vu9erlk9

From midges to Goodyear, relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain has had quite the career arc.

The next step will be with the Indians in Arizona, as Chamberlain on Tuesday was signed to a minor league deal with a non-roster invitation to spring camp.

Chamberlain, 30, spent the first seven years of his career with the New York Yankees and was originally billed as one of the better up-and-coming bullpen arms in the game. As a 21-year-old rookie with a 97-mph fastball (on average), Chamberlain allowed just one run in his 24 innings pitched in the 2007 season while striking out 34.

As it pertains to the Indians that year, Chamberlain is remembered as playing a key role in the infamous Game 2 of the American League Division Series. That night, a swarm of midges seemingly unnerved Chamberlain on the mound, allowing the Indians to tie it in the eighth inning on a wild pitch and eventually win it in the 11th on Travis Hefner’s walk-off single. The Indians on Tuesday even apologized for the midges from their Twitter account.

 

We apologize sincerely, @Joba_44, about the bugs. They won't be back, we promise.

To read more or comment...

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

Prev Next

Indians news, features and notes

Links

ROSTER

STATS

SCHEDULE

AP NEWS