Here’s the latest from Progressive Field…
- While an extra year of control is generally considered as a boon to a player’s trade value, this may not necessarily be the case for Trevor Bauer, as Ken Rosenthal explains in his latest video report for FOX Sports. Bauer has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining in 2020, though Rosenthal notes that some potential trade partners could be wary of acquiring Bauer due to the high price tag he’ll earn next season. After defeating Cleveland in an arb hearing in February, Bauer collected a $13MM salary for 2019, and his aggressiveness in seeking out maximum value on an annual basis makes it likely he’ll go to yet another hearing for another big salary next winter. This could push Bauer’s potential earnings into the $20MM range, which is too costly for some clubs. There is some comparison between Bauer’s situation and David Price’s situation in 2014, Rosenthal notes, as the Rays’ ability to get a big trade haul for the ace lefty was somewhat limited by the big payday awaiting Price via arbitration in the 2014-15 offseason. Of course, with the Indians in the playoff hunt, it remains to be seen if the Tribe will trade Bauer whatsoever, or potentially wait until the offseason to further trades (though there’s already a lot of speculation about Bauer being on the move this July).
- Dan Otero will begin a minor league rehab assignment, manager Terry Francona told MLB.com’s Mandy Bell and other reporters. The righty hasn’t pitched since May 30 due to right shoulder inflammation, and Otero’s time on the injured list was extended due to a setback in his recovery process. The ground-ball specialist had a 54.9% grounder rate, 3.33 K/BB rate, 3.8 K/9, and 4.56 ERA over his first 23 2/3 innings for Cleveland this season, with that ERA largely inflated by five earned runs over his last 2 2/3 frames of work prior to his IL stint.
- Francona also discussed Danny Salazar’s rehab, as the right-hander continues to make his way back to a big league mound for the first time since October 2017. Salazar has been working as a starter during his rehab outings, though Francona said it’s too soon to say whether Salazar will continue in the rotation should he return to the Tribe’s MLB roster. “I don’t know how you can forecast a month down the road,” Francona said. “We might need three starters by then….There’s a lot of things we need to find out. Information that we don’t have yet.” Keeping Salazar on a regular five-day schedule as a starter could be beneficial to his bothersome shoulder, though a similar argument could be made that limited bullpen innings would be preferable to a starter’s workload.