Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that with the Indians’ season now over after a stunning Yankees comeback, the Cleveland front office now faces the daunting task of determining which players they’ll retain for the 2018 season (and beyond, in some cases). The Indians hold an $11MM club option over oft-injured but supremely talented left fielder Michael Brantley, as well as a $3MM option over right-hander Josh Tomlin. Beyond that, Cleveland will have to gauge whether a middle ground can be found when negotiating possible deals to retain Carlos Santana, Jay Bruce, Bryan Shaw, Austin Jackson and Joe Smith each of whom will be a free agent when the World Series ends. Hoynes spoke to Brantley, Bruce, Santana, Shaw and Tomlin about the possibility of returning, and each unsurprisingly expressed a resounding desire to return. “I started a quest back in 2009,” said Brantley of his debut year in Cleveland. “I want to finish the right way. I don’t want to go out like this if it’s my choice. It’s not.”
A bit more from the AL Central…
- Twins owner Jim Pohlad tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that while there have yet to be any talks of long-term deals for young talents such as Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano or Eddie Rosario, those topics could come up in the near future. “I’d be looking forward to that conversation,” said Pohlad, who generally praised his team’s emerging core. Pohlad also suggested that while Brian Dozier was the focus of trade rumors last offseason and is entering the final season of his contract, it’d be tough to consider trading him this winter. “You would have to believe you’re getting a future core player back,” said Pohlad, going on to stress that it’d need to be a player (or players) that could help the Twins immediately.
- White Sox left fielder/designated hitter Nicky Delmonico will be shut down from offseason activity for up to four weeks due to inflammation and discomfort in his shoulder, the team announced this week. It’s a seemingly innocuous update for the time being, though the situation is worth at least monitoring. Delmonico, once a well-regarded prospect with the Orioles and Brewers, put himself back on the radar in 2017 with a big season in Triple-A and a .262/.373/.482 batting line with nine homers in 166 plate appearances in Chicago this season. If he’s healthy in 2018, he’s likely to play on a near-everyday basis between left field, first base and designated hitter, as the Sox hope to have uncovered a hidden gem.