1:59pm: Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Swarzak will earn $900K on the Major League roster, and the contract contains an additional $350K worth of incentives. He’ll be paid $35K for reaching 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 appearances as well as $35K for reaching 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 innings pitched. He also has a Sept. 1 opt-out clause, Berardino adds (Twitter links).
Swarzak, a client of Jet Sports Management, ranks second in the Majors in relief innings dating back to 2012, as the Indians note in the linked tweet. Cleveland should be plenty familiar with Swarzak, as the former second-round pick has spent his entire career with the division-rival Twins to this point.
Now 29 years of age, Swarzak has experience as both as a starter and reliever, but he’s worked primarily in long relief and as a spot starter with the Twins over the past three seasons. Swarzak enjoyed an excellent 2013 season in which he made 48 relief appearances and totaled 96 innings with a 2.91 ERA, 6.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate. However, he took a step back in 2014, registering a 4.60 ERA with declined rate states, including 4.9 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 44.5 percent ground-ball rate.
Minnesota non-tendered Swarzak rather than pay him a projected $1.4MM in his second run through arbitration. If he makes the club in Cleveland and pitches well, he’s controllable through the 2016 campaign.