Feb. 22: Cleveland announced the signing this morning. Torres would earn $1.5MM upon making the big league roster, Cotillo adds. He can also earn another $800K via incentives.
Torres, 35, will face a difficult task of cracking a Cleveland bullpen that has quite a few pieces in place and numerous competitors for whatever openings remain. Whatever starters miss on a rotation spot — Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, Mike Clevinger, and Ryan Merritt are among those slated to do battle — could be considered in relief roles. And the slate of veteran non-roster hurlers is already fairly lengthy, including MLB veterans Alexi Ogando and Neil Ramirez.
That said, the Indians surely offered Torres a reasonable shot at winning a job in order to entice him. He has been a workhorse for some time now at the game’s highest level, making 139 appearances over the past two seasons alone. The Brewers nevertheless elected not to tender Torres a contract; he was projected to earn $3.3MM in his final season of arbitration eligibility.
Of course, Torres was not nearly as effective in 2017 as he was in the prior campaign — an 82 1/3 inning career year in which he ran up a 2.73 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Last season, Torres dropped back to 72 2/3 innings of 4.21 ERA ball with just 6.9 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9, though he did show a career-high 93.4 mph average velocity with his cutter — even as that heavily-used offering waned in effectiveness.