The Indians have acquired outfielder Collin Cowgill from the Angels in exchange for cash considerations and designated left-hander Nick Hagadone for assignment, per a club announcement. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reported (via Twitter) that Cowgill was headed to Cleveland just before the trade was announced.
Cowgill, 30 next May, gives the Indians a strong defensive option in the outfield corners, though he comes with a light bat. The right-handed hitter comes to Cleveland with a .236/.299/.334 batting line in 745 trips to the plate as a Major Leaguer and a .188/.233/.290 line in just 74 PAs last season in Anaheim. However, Cowgill is a standout left/right fielder in the eyes of defensive metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved and also has the ability to play center field. Cowgill has saved 28 runs in 1336 innings of corner defense, per DRS. UZR agrees, pegging him at +25 runs in that time. He’s average to below-average in center, per those same metrics, but he’s played just 370 innings there in his career.
Hagadone’s removal from the 40-man roster isn’t entirely unexpected, as the lefty reliever underwent elbow surgery in late July that was projected to sideline him for six to nine months. He was projected to receive just $700K in arbitration, but the Indians probably didn’t want to commit the dollars nor the roster spot to Hagadone without knowing when he could return to the mound. He also has a fairly spotty track record as a Major Leaguer; while he worked to a sound 3.55 ERA with a 55-to-18 K/BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings from 2014-15, his big league work prior to that point amounted to a 5.59 ERA in 67 2/3 innings.
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said that he has interest in keeping Hagadone in the organization despite removing him from the 40-man roster (Twitter link).