Results tagged ‘ Cleveland ’

Giambi in, Perez out in Cleveland

The Indians wasted no time getting down to business on Thursday, re-signing designated hitter Jason Giambi to a Minor League deal and releasing closer Chris Perez.

The Tribe also traded for Minor League left-handed reliever Colt Hynes from the Padres for cash considerations.

Giambi was an important presence off the bench and in the clubhouse for the Indians this season and is expected to fulfill a similar role in 2014. He was signed to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invite to Major League Spring Training. The slugger hit three pinch-hit home runs and drove in 31 runs in 71 games (54 starts at DH), leading the club with an RBI per at bat ratio of 6.0ab/RBI in 2013.

Perez, the team’s former closer, struggled down the stretch in 2013 and was granted his unconditional release on Thursday. He will become a free agent after going 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 54 relief appearances.

– Joey Nowak

Indians may also be interested in Gallardo

The Indians have already been linked to the CubsMatt Garza. Now, they’re reportedly interested in Milwaukee‘s Yovani Gallardo.

At the moment, those two players are Cleveland’s “main and only pitchers of interest,” according to a CBSSports.com story by Jon Heyman. The Tribe is seeking a pitcher to “pair with ace [All-Star] Justin Masterson,” a source is quoted as saying in the report. The Indians want a starter with high-end stuff, and they might be content to leave their rotation untouched if a deal can’t be made for a top-of-the-rotation player.

This season, opposing clubs have devalued Gallardo, whose performance in 2013 has not reflected past success. Through 19 starts, the Brewers’ right-hander has assembled a 7-8 record and 4.85 ERA while averaging 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. In each of the past four seasons, Gallardo kept his ERA under 4.00 and struck out at least nine hitters per nine innings, on average.

Gallardo, 27, has another year on his contract, plus an option year after that.

What’s true of Gallardo does not apply to Garza, who will be a free agent but remains open to signing on for more time in Chicago after this season ends. Over his last five outings, the 29-year-old righty has gone 4-0 and put together an impressive 0.97 ERA. Across his most recent 37 innings, Garza has issued eight walks and 34 strikeouts, while holding opponents to a .180 batting average.

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Indians were one of five teams to scout Garza’s start on Monday, when he held the White Sox to five hits and two runs (one earned) over seven innings. In 10 starts this year, Garza is 5-1 and owns a 3.22 ERA.

Entering the 2013 campaign, Cleveland’s starting rotation was thought to be the club’s primary weakness. The starters have performed better than expected, though lately manager Terry Francona has gone to his bullpen earlier in games than he’d probably like to. Overall, Tribe starters are 30-34 with a 4.58 ERA. They’ve thrown 506 2/3 innings (12th in the American League) and racked up 453 strikeouts (fifth in the AL).

Even if the Indians don’t make a deal for a starter, they’ll still receive second-half reinforcements in the form of Zach McAllister, who hasn’t pitched since June 2 because of a right middle finger sprain.

– Mark Emery

Grady Sizemore: Sizing up the Market

Free-agent outfielder Grady Sizemore expects to be completely healthy by the start of Spring Training and is keeping his options open for 2012.

On Monday, the Indians announced they were declining Sizemore’s $9 million option for 2012, instead choosing to pay the $500,000 buyout. On Thursday, Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, said the interest in his client’s services is best described as “steady” and he has heard from a number of clubs.

Urbon declined to name the clubs that have inquired or the parameters of a deal Sizemore is seeking. He added that there is not a timetable for a decision.

Sizemore has been mentioned in reports as a possible target for Washington, San Francisco and Milwaukee, among other teams.

“The minute they chose not to exercise the option we informed Grady that we will find the best opportunity to allow him to show his health and that he is the elite player that everyone was used to seeing from 2005 to 2008,” said Urbon, co-head of CAA Baseball. “It’s rare for a two-time Gold Glove winner to have the power and ability to produce like a corner outfielder. It’s rare and rarely exists.”

One option for Sizemore could be shifting from center field to left or right if it’s the right fit. He could also seek a one-year incentive-based deal that would make him a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. Sizemore might believe his value will increase for the ’13 season with improved health and full season under his belt.

One thing is certain: Sizemore will be ready and looking to rebound. He hit .224 with 10 homers, 21 doubles and 32 RBIs in 71 games for Cleveland this past season and has not played a full season since 2008.

He has had two knee surgeries — one on each knee — in the last year and a half, including microfracture surgery on his left knee last year. He also suffered a sports hernia and a right knee injury. He is recovering from an Oct. 3 arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, which had a bone bruise and was part of the reason he was off the field for most of the second half of the season.

“The microfracture is not an issue,” Urbon said. “He’s as structurally as sound as you can be, and nothing he has suffered is chronic. He missed parts of three years. I’m not going to dismiss health, nor should it be, but it will all be cleared up by due diligence.”

As of Monday, the Indians had not ruled out Sizemore’s return to Cleveland.

“We will still stay in touch with his representatives and Grady throughout the offseason and remain hopeful he will remain part of this organization,” Indians GM Chris Antonetti said. “I think both parties remain open-minded to continuing the relationship. It’s just not at the option value.”

- Jesse Sanchez

 

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