This news comes in the aftermath of a forehead-smacking decision by this talented pair of right-handed hurlers. They each violated collectively bargained MLB coronavirus protocols and then — as rotation mate Adam Plutko explained — lied to the team about their poor decisions.
The decision to option both pitchers came on the heels of a team meeting involving them both, as Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal covers (Twitter links). It’s clear the organization decided it had to send a message.
It’s unlikely but not impossible that the optional assignment will have a significant impact on either player’s contractual situation. Clevinger entered the year with 3.041 years of MLB service while Plesac had 125 days. Unless the Indians leave them down for an extended stretch, they’ll still be able to move into the next service class. But the move could ruin Plesac’s hopes for potential early arbitration qualification as a Super Two.