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The Cleveland Indians continue to make smaller signings and prepare for spring training. According to Jordan Bastian on Twitter, the Indians gave a physical to Cristian Guzman on Tuesday and plan to sign him to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Wednesday. It's a significant signing, given Guzman's history.
Guzman made the All-Star team as a shortstop in 2001 and 2008, and after sitting out a season, he's hoping to come back much stronger. He's always been able to make contact with the ball, but his last two seasons were sub-par, with a .266 average with the Rangers and Nationals in 2010. That was over the course of 104 games, but it's a longshot he'll see anything near that much action this coming season.
Still, that's the crux of these deals - you get a chance to come in and compete, and work your way back into a lineup. There's no risk for the Indians because it's such a minor deal and he might be able to light a fire under guys like Jack Hannahan and Jason Donald. His 2008 season saw him hit .316 and post a .345 OBP.
Guzman does have some history with Cleveland manager Manny Acta, playing for him in Washington.
Garland has had a decent career since he began play in MLB in 2000 with the Chicago White Sox, where he played until 2007. Since he left Chicago's south side he has been bouncing around from town to town; the Indians would be his sixth team. Most recently he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, working on a single year, $4.4 million contract. The 31 year old would likely be looking for a similar contract for his services with the Indians.
Garland won the World Series in 2005 with the White Sox, the same year of his so far only All Star Game appearance. He would provide some welcome veteran depth to the Indians starting rotation.
For more on the Cleveland Indians, check out Let's Go Tribe.
There was a lot of talk about a potential multi-year deal on the table from the Cleveland Indians for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, and some even thought said deal might get done. Recently though, it's been looking more and more like the Indians might be going to arbitration, with some reporting that it was expected at this point. Which, naturally, means the Tribe signed Cabrera to a one-year deal and avoided arbitration for the 21st year in a row, according to the Indians official Twitter account.
It's likely that this one-year deal was something that the two sides have been considering on the side for some time while they try and negotiate a long-term deal. Instead of something long term, it's clear that the Indians were adamant that arbitration is something they want to continue to avoid.
Avoiding arbitration has been their thing since 1991, when left-hander Greg Swindell won and earned a salary of $2.025 million that year. Arbitration can often be a nasty experience where a rift is created between player and team. With the potential to still get a multi-year deal done for Cabrera, avoiding arbitration, which was set to begin early next week, became key.
Cabrera was reportedly seeking $5.2 million in 2012, while the Indians had offered $3.75 million, and Jordan Bastian is reporting that it's worth $4.55 million, so it's a bit above the middle point.
The Cleveland Indians are getting closer and closer to arbitration with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, but there are signs that the team might avoid the hearing. They haven't gone to a hearing with a player since 1991, when the team went to arbitration with Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne. There's no public date for the potential hearing with Cabrera, but it has been scheduled, at any rate.
Still, it might not come to that. Though most assumed there would be a short deal early on in the process, Cabrera has since been adamant that he wants something long term, and that he wants to remain with the Tribe. Cabrera has been in town for the past few days and the sides have been meeting to discuss the contract. Cleveland has not ruled out a long-term deal, with general manager Chris Antonetti previously saying that they were open-minded.
#Indians have a multiyear deal on the table for SS Asdrubal Cabrera. Things could change (i.e. one-year deal)...sides negotiating.
That's a sign that there's progress, at least - the Indians are not only entertaining the idea of a multi-year deal, they've got one on the table. Another tweet says that there's not much change of a deal being reached on Friday, but that there is one on the table, so arbitration could still be avoided at this point.
The Indians have reportedly avoided arbitration with relief pitcher Rafael Perez. According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the two sides have agreed on a deal that will pay Perez a base salary of $2,005,000, with a possible $25,000 in performance bonuses.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes, the $2,005,000 is just above the midpoint of what Perez was seeking and what the Indians had offered. According to Hoynes, Perez wanted $2.4 million, while the Indians offered $1.6.
Last season Perez made $1.33 million.
In 2011 Perez appeared in 71 games, pitching 63.0 innings. To earn all of his incentives, Hoynes reported, Perez needs to make at least 55 appearances this season.
Perez was nails through the All-Star Game last year, carrying a 1.91 ERA into the break. In the second half he struggled with a 4.62 ERA. On the year he struck out 33, walked 19 and recorded a 3.00 ERA. He finished the season with 12 holds, zero saves, two blown saves, five wins and two losses.
The 30-year-old Perez has spent his entire major-league career in Cleveland.
The Indians have avoided arbitration every year since 1991.
The Cleveland Indians haven't had the most exciting offseason in the history of the franchise, though things are certainly changing. Pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested for actually being Roberto Hernandez Heredia on Thursday and, to follow that up Friday, the Indians traded for Kevin Slowey from the Colorado Rockies.
Slowey doesn't elicit quite the response that Carmona's false identity scandal did, but the former starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins shouldn't be the worst thing to happen to Cleveland's pitching staff this season. Slowey's started 90 games in his career, compiling 39 wins and 29 losses despite an 0-8 season with the Minnesota Twins last year.
To acquire the 27-year-old Slowey, the Indians shipped Zach Putnam to the Rockies, according to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi. Putnam appeared in eight games for Cleveland last season while piling up a 6.14 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched during his brief September call-up.
The Cleveland Indians added free agent outfielder Ryan Spilborghs on Friday, according to the MLB website. They are bringing him in on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The signing is still pending a physical at this point. Cleveland struggled with their outfield last year, going through long stretches without their starters. Any outfield with Grady Sizemore in it will be suffering some injuries, so to speak.
Spilborghs brings the Indians up to 12 outfielders in camp, and they might end up with more when it's all said and done. They're anticipating a healthy outfield to start the season, but it's clear the Indians don't want to have the same troubles they did last year.
According to the report, the team also agreed to terms with infielder Gregorio Petit on a Minor League contract. Petit also received a Sprint Training invite. The 27 year-old was released by San Diego in February, following a serious knee injury in winter play that put him out for the whole season.
Reliever Jeremy Accardo has agreed to a minor-leagud deal with
#Indians. The #Phillies had also expressed interest.
Accardo is 30 years-old and is entering his eighth season with the league. He spent most of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, but spent last season with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2011, he went 3-3 with a 5.73 earned-run average in 31 appearances, so his numbers aren't great. He did strike out 23 batters against 18 walks, so he has that going for him.
Still, he's got a career 4.22 ERA and the Indians are still looking to fill a spot on their bullpen. Could Accardo be in the mix on this? It's certainly a possibility. His best season came in 2007, when he had a 2.14 ERA in 64 games, with 30 saves to his credit.
The Cleveland Indians were able to lock up the majority of their players before arbitration became an issue, but they weren't able to lock up one of their most important before Tuesday's deadline. All-Star infielder Asdrubal Cabrera was unable to come to an agreement prior to the 1 p.m. deadline and now an independent arbitrating panel will need to intervene.
Cabrera filed for a salary of $5.2 million for the upcoming season while the Indians went with $3.75 million, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Cabrera made $2,025,000 last season -- his first year of arbitration eligibility.
This year's arbitration hearings are scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg from Feb. 1 through Feb. 21. It should be an interesting experience for Cleveland's representatives, too, as they haven't gone to a hearing since doing so with Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne in 1991.
The Cleveland Indians are a step closer to avoid arbitration on Tuesday, signing third baseman Jack Hannahan and reliever Joe Smith to one-year contracts, according to their MLB.com site. There's no financial terms yet, but the team is still left with five players eligible for arbitration. All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, All-Star closer Chris Perez, right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, starter Justin Masterson and reliever Rafael Perez are still up for arbitration at the deadline on Tuesday.
Smith was great in the bullpen for Cleveland in 2011, sporting a 2.01 ERA in 71 appearances. He also struke out 45 and walked 21 over 67 innings of work. He'll likely get heavy work in 2012, in much the same way he did this past season.
Hannahan was the opening day third baseman last season for the Tribe, coming in on a minor league contract, but he'll have to compete against Lonnie Chisenhall during Spring Training. He his .250 with eight home runs and 40 runs batted in through 110 games for the Indians. He was a real asset at third base and has a solid chance to win the battle. Either way, he'll see the field in some form in 2012.
The Cleveland Indians still don't have a first baseman for the 2012 MLB season. On Thursday, there was reported interest in Carlos Pena, and now there's some more potential interest, courtesy of MLB Blogs, who suggest that the team might also be interested in acquiring the services of another first baseman, Casey Kotchman.
They're two very different players. Despite them both having about the same value in the free agent market right now, they each do different things. Pena, for instance, is a power slugger with a propensity to strike out to go along with his propensity to hit home runs. Kotchman doesn't hit nearly as many home runs, but he has a much improved strikeout number, Kotchman struck out about 100 times less than Pena did in 2011.
Pena hit .225 in 2011, while Kotchman hit .306. Based on the Indians situation, Kotchman might actually be a better fit, on top of the fact that he should come cheaper, something that certainly means a lot for the Indians in their current financial situation.
After news on Thursday that the team added reliever Chris Ray, the Cleveland Indians also appear interested in a more high-profile free agent. Paul Hoynes reported on Twitter that the team is interested in first baseman Carlos Pena:
#Indians like 1B Carlos Pena and went to ownership to see if they could make a deal work. No word on decision.
Pena is 33-years-old and would likely be coming in on a one-year deal, if he were to sign. The team would likely have to approve something along the lines of $8 million for a one-year deal to bring him in. As one of the better free agents available at this point, Pena is somewhat underrated for the production. In 2010, he hit 28 homers and drew 101 walks, good for an OPS of .819. His low batting average and propensity to strike out has scared some, but he would definitely upgrade the position, which has no clear starter at this point.
It's been awhile since we've heard from the Cleveland Indians, who have had a very quiet offseason to date. The signing of Grady Sizemore was the only real big news, and there wasn't even a lot of small signings or small potential deals to report on. Now there is a little bit of news, as the team has announced that they've signed free agent reliever Chris Ray to a minor league contract.
The team invited Ray to training camp, and there's a solid chance he could make it with an opening in their bullpen. Overall, he's 18-19 with a 4.10 ERA and 51 saves over 283 major league appearances, but has performed better in recent years. He went 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 29 games last season, but in 2010, went 5-0 with two saves for the Rangers and Giants.
Already boasting a strong bullpen, the addition of Ray is interesting. He's certainly shown flashes of very strong play here and there, so it would seem that the Indians are trying to cover all of their bases for that remaining spot on the bullpen.
After playing in 106, 33 and 71 games respectively over the past three years, the Indians reasonably structured the contract with incentives, up to $4 million, based on plate appearances. The contract also includes a $500,000 bonus if Sizemore is named Comeback Player of the Year.
"At the end of the day, this felt like the best fit for me," said Sizemore. "I wasn't ready to say goodbye. I wasn't ready to move on."
Sizemore was the definition of durability during four standout seasons with Cleveland from 2005-2008 when he smashed an average of 26.7 home runs per year and stole an average of 28.7 bases per year, but he has undergone five operations in the last three years, including microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2010 and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 3.
Said Sizemore, "I don't think there's a day that goes by where I've ever thought I can't stay healthy for a year."
After recently being linked as one of the teams interested in acquiring the services of Grady Sizemore, it looks like the Cleveland Indians may be closer than we thought. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Sizemore's agent, Joe Urbon, said that the outfielder is presently in serious discussions with the Indians as of now.
"Grady has maintained that he would welcome a return to the Indians," Urbon said. "Our efforts right now are to see if we can make that happen."
Sizemore, the longtime face of the Indians franchise, reportedly backed off of talks with other teams that were supposedly interested. The Phillies, Cubs, Rockies, Giants and Yankees have all been linked to Sizemore, though Rosenthal's sources say those first three were the most aggressive in their pursuit.
He initially became a free agent when the Indians declined a $9 million option. That was just too much money to devote to a player who has had five surgeries recently. He missed significant time, though he did play well when he was healthy. Still, the deal is expected to be a fraction of that $9 million, and a decision could come as early as this weekend on his future.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America have been naming off their awards, and the latest goes to Tampa Bay Rays' Joe Maddon. Early on Wednesday, he was named the American League Manager of the Year, finishing with 26 of the 28 first-place votes, earning the award for the second time in the past four seasons, and now holds two of the top three highest vote totals in the history of the award voting.
In second place was Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers, while Ron Washington took third. Rounding out the top four was Cleveland Indians' manager Manny Acta, courtesy of the official Indians Twitter account:
Congrats to Manny Acta on his 4th place finish in the 2011 AL Manager of the Year voting (16 points, 3 2nd place votes)
Acta lead his team to a much better season than many anticipated, and kept them competitive behind the very strong Detroit Tigers within the division.. The three second place votes are certainly note-worthy, given the competition this year.
Though the Cleveland Indians didn't exercise a $9 million option on Grady Sizemore earlier this year, they could still be interested in him. The news to not exercise the option drew a negative, but unsurpised reaction from the fanbase. Either way, it does look like the Indians still will have interest in bringing him back at a lower price, but there will be some competition.
From Paul Hoynes on Twitter:
ESPN reporting Texas, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Phillies and Red Sox have interest in Grady Sizemore.
#Indians have an interest as well.
Grady spent a good portion of his time in recent years under the knife, with five surgeries in three years (two sports hernias, both knees and elbow). The $9 million that the Indians decided they couldn't devote to him was much too much, but it makes an awful lot of sense for multiple teams to be interested in seeing Sizemore work out. Maybe the center fielder will come cheap and a team will take a chance on his injury history.
Asdrubal Cabrera didn't get the satisfaction of winning one of the league's Gold Glove awards earlier this week. The Cleveland Indians shortstop was able to win a different postseason award Wednesday night, however, as he was honored with a 2011 Silver Slugger.
Cabrera came into the season with just 18 career home runs, but he knocked 25 into the stands this season to set a new career high and win his first Silver Slugger. Aside from the home run numbers, the infielder posted a .273 batting average and .792 OPS while batting in 92 RBIs.
A fill list of this year's Silver Slugger award winners is included below.
David Ortiz and Atlanta's Brian McCann each picked up their fifth such honor." cellspacing="0">
The Gold Glove Finalists were announced on Monday night prior to the actual awards being handed out on an ESPN broadcast Tuesday night. Of note, two Cleveland Indians players are up for the awards as both Asdrubal Cabrera and Fausto Carmona are among the best fielders at their position.
Carmona is one of three pitchers, along with Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels' Dan Haren, to be recognized for his glove by the voting committee. Joining Cabrera at shortstop are J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles and the Angels' Erick Aybar.
SB Nation's Rob Neyer is not exactly excited about Cabrera's chances at actually winning the Gold Glove.
Hmmm. Not a great year for shortstops, apparently. But it's something of a crime that Asdrubal Cabera's here instead of (for example) Alcides Escobar, who had a great year at shortstop for the Royals.
I'm now suspecting that Rawlings used defensive metrics to choose the finalists ... except then how do you explain Asdrubal Cabrera, whose numbers this season at shortstop were as lousy as ever.
The results will be announced Tuesday night on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.
The Cleveland Indians are making moves - and decisions on center fielder Grady Sizemore and right-handed pitcher Fausto Carmona have been made. They're reportedly declined the 2012 club option for Sizemore, making him a free agent, and have exercised their option on Carmona. The decision itself is a mixed bag, as both players have something to offer, but there were a number of factors to consider.
For one, Sizemore's option was worth $9 million, and his five surgeries over the last three years don't inspire much confidence - at least not $9 million's worth. He only appeared in 71 games last season. Sizemore is immediately a free agent, while Carmona wasn't eligible for free agency to begin with. They'll buyout Sizemore's contract for $500,000 instead of giving him the $9 million. Cleveland holds exclusive negotiating rights until Thursday, but Sizemore is likely to hit the open market, regardless.
Instead of going to arbitration with Carmona, where they would probably end up paying less, they've exercised his $7 million option. Carmona hasn't yet matched his 19-win season in 2007, and regressed this past season, going 7-14 with a 5.25 earned run average. It's the second-highest ERA in a single season for a pitcher with at least 32 starts in Cleveland Indians franchise history.
Still, the Indians had to keep one of them, and it just wasn't ideal to keep Sizemore at that figure, regardless of past contributions.
For more on the Indians, head on over to Let's Go Tribe.
The Sporting News has named Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians to its American League All-Star shortstop for the 2011 season on Thursday. It's an impressive thing for Cabrera to make it, as he's the first Indians shortstop to be given the honor since the 1948 season and Lou Boudreau. The year might seem familiar to fans of the tribe - it's the last time they won the World Series.
Cabrera was an integral part in the Indians' offense, hitting .273 with 25 homers and 92 RBI. He also had three triples, 32 doubles and 87 runs scored. They were career highs in hits, runs, doubles, homers, RBI, games and OPS. With the absence of Derek Jeter, he was also the AL's starting shortstop in the All-Star game this season. His 25 homers are a franchise record for shortstops and Boudreau's name surfaces again when considering RBI, as Cabrera's 92 were the most since Boudreau drove in 106 in 1948, according to Cleveland.com. Another thing to note from the article:
Vizquel spent ten seasons with the Indians and was excellent for the majority of his time there. It's actually pretty shocking - when thinking about it, that he never made it to TSN's shortstop list.
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