The Indians announced their club option decisions today, and didn’t have any surprises in store. Righty Carlos Carrasco will return at a $9.75MM price tag, while outfielder Brandon Guyer receives a $250K buyout rather than a $3MM salary.
There was never a thought that Cleveland would pass up a chance on retaining Carrasco at that rate. He’s controllable in 2020 as well under an option that’s priced just $500K higher than the 2019 version.
At those rates, the 31-year-old hurler is one of the game’s best bargains on the mound. He has turned in year after year of outstanding results, backed by compelling peripherals. Most recently, in 2018, he spun 192 frames of 3.38 ERA ball with 10.8 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.
Guyer came up in the Cubs’ system after they drafted him in the 5th round of the 2007 draft. He made his big league debut with the Rays after they acquired him with Chris Archer and others in 2011’s Matt Garza swap with Chicago. The Indians acquired him from Tampa in August of 2016 for a pair of minor leaguers.
His usefulness is limited to the outfield corners versus left-handed pitching. For his career, he’s hit .273/.376/.449 with a 130 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, but only .224/.297/.323 with a 74 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Last season, Guyer struggled in 104 games for the Indians, slashing .206/.300/.371. He’ll be 33-years-old at the start of 2019 season and is now a free agent.
Hue Jackson being fired yesterday and Brandon Guyer having his option declined today makes this a great start to my week
Bingo! But I’m betting they’ll offer Guyer a smaller contract to re-sign, considering their outfield issues.
Pirate news: Mercer is a FA. Kang’s option was bought out. He is now a FA. No official announcement made by the team.
If the Kang and Mercer announcements are true both formalities as the Bucs may negotiate with both for a lower salary.
I can see Kang re-signing for a lower salary. I expect Mercer is gone.
I agree with you on both. Kang likely has no market elsewhere, and the Bucs need to cut the cord with Mercer, like yesterday.
Carrasco is criminally underrated. Since he became a regular starters he is 9th in FIP in 7th in fWAR despite pitching less innings then anyone else in the top 10. For some reason, no one talks about him, he is yet to be an all star and only finished top 5 in the Cy young voting once.
I completely agree, although I think it’s just because the Indians have such a good rotation that someone will naturally end up getting overlooked. Kluber and Bauer get most of the attention, while Carrasco and Clevinger fly more under the radar, and that’s before even mentioning Bieber.
Wish more players would consider deals like Carrasco. He took a guarantee that sets him up for life. Most players don’t hit the jackpot via first year arbitration like Mookie Betts and those that gamble and lose due to injuries or development hurt more than the benefits secured from the extra money they get when they risk and win. While most want what they’re entitled to, at some point there becomes a diminishing return and the gamble just isn’t worth it. Remember when the Indians signed as many as they could in the 90s? A strategy like that can only help the sport. Free agency is great for big market clubs but not necessarily all teams.
If I’m not mistaken I believe he caught a lot of flak from the union for agreeing to the contract he agreed to. He took upfront money because of healthcare concerns with his family and took the lifetime security of that deal as opposed to rolling the dice and cashing in bigger down the road and like I said I believe he caught a bunch of backlash for that.
Well, at the time, the contract could have gone either way. It’s easy for the union to criticize the Carrasco’s and Bumgarner’s using hindsight, but have they criticized Jon Singleton? Thought not.
And I like this more then getting a third organization (e.g. Fantex). It would be terrible if those kind of companies get a large grip on the market.
I’m not sure why I thought he had s family member with a heart condition, it was he himself and he opted for surgery.
“The Indians never announced Carrasco’s surgery because it wasn’t baseball-related. After agreeing to a four-year $22 million extension Tuesday, Carrasco and one of his agents talked to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.com. Rosenthal wrote that Carrasco’s agents and the players association advised Carrasco not to sign the deal because he was giving away three years of arbitration and at least one year of free agency.
If the Indians exercised the club options for 2019 and 2020, it would be three years of free agency and Carrasco would be 34 at the end of the deal.
Carrasco didn’t care. He had a wife, four children and was coming off heart surgery. The doctors called it non-invasive, but when it’s your heart, there’s nothing non-invasive about it.
He took the deal.
“Yes, that’s what I did,” said Carrasco. “My family comes first. Now everything is good”
Carrasco is the real ace of this team.
In more than just pitching.
Yes but an ace takes a team and puts them on their back when it’s crunch time…that certainly hasn’t been Kluber.
No surprise with Carrasco or Guyer. Might the Tribe be interested in a new deal with Guyer? Sure, he had a meh 2017 and a double-meh 2018. But he isn’t exactly old, and historically he’s been a good-OBP backup who can play anywhere in the outfield.
Or maybe I just have a soft-spot for middle-of-the-road players for whom the clock is running out.
Guyer certainly had more value when teams had bigger benches – having a lefty-mashing outfielder used to be an asset, but with three-man benches it’s sort of a dying position.
Especially for him since his production has steadily eroded since CLE acquired him.
Exactly….a 5th OFer when teams only can carry 4….a RH hitter when teams like LH’s……and the defense is more “meh” than good, with CF being obviously a weak spot…..always liked him (plays hard) but a AAAA type these days…..
With Naquin being poor vs LHP, I can see Guyer back on an incentive-laden contract. Everyone likes to hate on Guyer, but he still had an .804 OPS vs LHP last year (and obviously hits lefties well for his career).
In an almost completely ignored trade last summer, Indians picked up Oscar Mercado from Cards. He offers MUCH better defense and speed than Guyer (tho the hit tool has been questioned), is a RH hitter, and is minimum wage. If they buy into Mercado’s bat, as SOME scouts do, he’s an Indians-type (don’t overpay for “meh”) move.
Who else is out there that is a natural magnet for baseballs when in the batter’s box?
After Lindor, Brantley, Rameriz and Encarnacion, the Indians hitters are just plain awful.
And while I figured Brantley was a lock to resign, they are talking about Kipnis in LF as they’re out of money. Again.
They need at least 2, and maybe 3 (if Brantley leaves) hitters that can hit decently against both RH and LH pitchers. As mentioned above, with pitchers eating up more roster space due to long bullpens – and the Indians have to do that as their’s has turned awful since Callahan left – team’s can’t afford to have half their position players hit only only RH or LH pitchers.
The AL Central will stink again in 2019. So the Indians will waltz to the Division title. I see them laying out money late in the season for a big bat and bullpen arm(s) as they did in 2018. But at this time I see them getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Again.
Wasn’t the Indians offense in the top five last year in all of baseball?
I think it was, but the original comment is right that it’s incredibly top-heavy. He didn’t mention Gomes (who hits well relative to other catchers), but after Lindor/Ramirez/Edwin there’s not really anyone else in that lineup that I have a lot of faith in. Lindor was also the only one that hit well at all in the ALDS, even though it was only 3 games.
I’m assuming Brantley will probably sign elsewhere, and I think Yandy Diaz could be a decent everyday player if they end up starting him. But other than the top-heavy part of the lineup, the rest of the offense is just question marks. The outfield is pretty terrible, so even if Naquin or someone else takes a step forward I still think at least one outside starter is needed.
I’m tired of the out of money excuse, the tribe needs to go all in the next 3 years while they still have Lindor, if that means a $160 million plus payroll for a few seasons so be it. Yes I know it’s easy for me to say because it isn’t my money