9:06am: Belisle will earn a $1.5MM salary with a chance for more via incentives if he makes the Indians, Jon Heyman of FanRag tweets. There are $1.75MM in bonuses, Buster Olney of ESPN adds (via Twitter).
The 37-year-old Belisle spent last season with Minnesota, one of the Indians’ AL Central rivals, and emerged as the Twins’ closer after they traded Brandon Kintzler in July. In all, the right-handed Belisle pitched to a 4.03 ERA, posted 8.06 K/9 against 3.28 BB/9 and recorded nine saves over 60 1/3 innings.
While Belisle only induced ground balls at a 40.7 percent clip, he made up for it with a 15.6 percent infield fly rate – the 17th-best figure among qualified relievers and a significantly higher number than his career mark (7 percent). And even though Belisle’s velocity dropped from the low-90s to the high-80s as the season progressed, he was far more effective in the second half of the year (1.71 ERA, 3.08 FIP across 26 1/3 innings) than the first (5.82 ERA, 4.83 FIP over 34 frames). Belisle helped his cause by stifling both same-handed hitters (.243/.319/.377) and lefty-swingers (.160/.244/.351).
Since debuting in the majors in 2003, Belisle has fared similarly against righties (.278/.322/.420) and lefties (.266/.333/.422), and has registered a 4.19 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 2.28 BB/9 and a 46.9 percent grounder rate across 894 1/3 innings. Also a former Red, Rockie, Cardinal and National, he’ll now attempt to join an Indians bullpen that was among the game’s elite in 2017. The Indians have since lost righties Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith to free agency, but Cody Allen, Andrew Miller, Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, Nick Goody and Tyler Olson remain on hand in a still-impressive group.