We have heard all manner of connections today regarding the Indians, but it has emerged now — with about two hours left til the deadline — that Cleveland is focused on adding a reliever. The team is optimistic of finding a pen arm of some kind today, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets.
While the focus may be on a lefty, particularly one that would hold out the promise of some impact, that doesn’t appear to be an exclusive aim of the Cleveland brass. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag does tweet, though, that a southpaw would be preferred, and indeed Cleveland has been tied to some high-end lefties. Indeed, there were suggestions this morning that the Indians were “pushing” for Orioles lefty Zach Britton.
Among the targets is old friend Joe Smith, per Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (Twitter link). Smith has thrown well this year for the Blue Jays and recently returned from a lengthy DL stint. He is earning just $3MM this year and would deepen the overall unit, though he’s not really a top option for facing lefties. Smith has been much stingier when facing same-handed hitters over his career and in 2017.