Results tagged ‘ Cleveland Indians ’
The Indians signed a free-agent starting pitcher on Saturday, but it wasn’t Ubaldo Jimenez. Instead of bringing back Jimenez, who rejected a qualifying offer from the club in November, Cleveland signed right-hander Aaron Harang to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The veteran is expected to compete for the fifth spot in the Indians’ rotation.
Cleveland also prevailed in its arbitration case against pitcher Josh Tomlin. The right-hander will earn $800,000 this season. The Indians have another arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday with starter Justin Masterson, but the sinkerballer says the pending
contract talks don’t bother him at all.
In other Hot Stove news:
• The Cubs added depth to their bench, signing veteran utility man Emilio Bonifacio. He was released by the Royals on Wednesday after being designated for assignment on Feb. 1.
• The Mariners and first baseman Justin Smoak avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with a club option for 2015. Seattle has now signed all of its arbitration-eligible players.
• The A’s and outfielder Josh Reddick agreed to a one-year deal, clearing the club’s arbitration slate.
• The Red Sox won’t be going to any arbitration hearings either after coming to terms with left-handed reliever Andrew Miller on a one-year contract for 2014.
• The Orioles claimed utility man Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Marlins. The switch hitter is expected to compete for a spot on Baltimore’s bench.
Any loose ends in the Brewers’ deal with Matt Garza were tied up on Sunday afternoon, as Milwaukee finalized and made official its four-year contract with the right-hander.
MLB.com‘s Adam McCalvy reported the four-year contract guarantees $50 million with another $4 million available in incentives, plus a vesting option for a fifth year at $13 million, depending on Garza’s workload over the first four years.
It’s the first of the free agent starting pitching dominoes to fall since the Yankees’ signing of Masahiro Tanaka, and there could be plenty more this week. But before getting too far ahead, let’s take a look at some more of Sunday’s Hot Stove news.
- Reds starter Homer Bailey was “diplomatic” when talking about contract negotiations, MLB.com‘s Mark Sheldon wrote from the Reds Caravan in Cincinnati. Bailey is one of two Reds players eligible for arbitration (the other is closer Aroldis Chapman) and will be a free agent after the 2014 season. His agent Casey Close — who represents Tanaka, among other stars — has been engaged in talks with general manager Walt Jocketty about a multi-year deal. “There is [interest], but it has to be something that works out for both ends,” Bailey said. “That’s kind of tough to do. You see a lot of the signings that are going on, so, of course, it’s going to raise eyebrows on my behalf. Obviously, with a mid-market team, it’s tougher for them, also. We’re just going to have to see how everything goes.”
- Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is also open to negotiating a long-term contract, MLB.com‘s Jordan Bastian reported Sunday, but he wants to take care of that business before Opening Day. “We haven’t talked about it yet [this offseason],” Kipnis said. “My guess is, if we were going to, it’d probably start in Spring Training, when everybody comes there. They’ve got their hands full with other stuff to take care of first. There’s arbitration cases on other players. It’ll come after — when the time is right.” The Indians are still working on contract talks with Justin Masterson, Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin, who are all arbitration-eligible.
- After a dismal 2013 that included rotator cuff and wrist injuries and a Triple-A demotion, Danny Espinosa is intent on working his way back onto the Nationals’ big-league roster, and potentially even the starting lineup. According to Chase Hughes from Nats Insider, Espinosa has been assured by general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams that he will have plenty of chances to work for that opportunity.
- The Pirates “probably won’t go after a pitcher” if A.J. Burnett decides to hang up his spikes and retire, the Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo reported. Burnett is still mulling the decision. Cafardo has that news and plenty more tidbits in his weekly Sunday baseball notes column.
- The Mariners made one of the largest splashes of baseball’s offseason by signing second baseman Robinson Cano, but general manager Jack Zduriencik said the team is not yet finished. “We need to do a few more things,” Zduriencik said. “I’d like to add a couple more things to help us.” MLB.com‘s Greg Johns wrote from Mariners FanFest that Zduriencik will meet with new team president Kevin Mather in the next few days to discuss moves, which are most likely to include complementary additions.
— Joey Nowak
CLEVELAND — Opening Day at Progressive Field brought about a reunion of former Indians infielders.
Jays utility infielder Omar Vizquel, who awed Tribe fans for 11 years with his dazzling defense at shortstop, began his 24th — and perhaps final — season in the Major Leagues on Thursday.
Carlos Baerga, who manned second base for Cleveland from 1990-96 and in 1999, has been representing the club as an alumni ambassador. He caught the ceremonial first pitch.
“It’s something special,” Baerga said. “I haven’t been here on Opening Day since I played here. To be here today is something really good for me.”
Baerga and Vizquel shared a few laughs and reminisced about their time together during the Tribe’s glory days of the ’90s.
Baerga can’t believe the 11-time Gold Glove winner is still chugging along at the ripe age of 44. Vizquel is one-and-a-half years older than Baerga.
“He’s amazing. He’s a great player and he stays in great shape,” Baerga said. “I said, ‘Man, what’s going on? You’re making me look bad.'”
The Indians have welcomed several players from that era back to the organization. Sandy Alomar Jr. is the team’s bench coach. Kenny Lofton assisted with outfielders and baserunning as a guest instructor during Spring Training. Even Albert Belle, who maintained a hot-and-cold relationship with the club and its fans, made an appearance in Goodyear, Ariz.
“It’s awesome,” Baerga said. “The Cleveland Indians have started doing what the New York Yankees used to do, bringing in the old guys to be with the young players. I’m really proud to do it.”
Vizquel was busy securing a spot on Toronto’s Opening Day roster, so he couldn’t join his former teammates in Spring Training. But seeing his old pals in their new roles has him hopeful for a spot in Cleveland once he finally opts to hang up his cleats.
“I’d like to [be in Cleveland],” Vizquel said. “The Indians have a special place in my heart.”