The Indians have claimed right-hander Jordan Humphreys off waivers from the Giants and, in a corresponding move, designated righty Adam Cimber for assignment, according to a club announcement. San Francisco had designated Humphreys for assignment back on Friday.
Cimber, 30, came to Cleveland alongside recently waived All-Star Brad Hand in the trade that sent catching prospect Francisco Mejia to the Padres. It proved to be a worthwhile swap for Cleveland, as Mejia hasn’t contributed much of anything to the Padres yet, but the hope at the time of the deal was surely that Hand and Cimber would hold down key bullpen roles into at least the 2021 season. This past season’s lost revenues prompted the Indians to decline Hand’s option, however, and Cimber was likely deemed expendable due to a looming arbitration raise and the fact that he never pitched as well in Cleveland as he did for the Padres.
Cimber was a 27-year-old rookie with San Diego in ’17 but carved out an important role in their bullpen by pitching to a 3.17 ERA with a 51-to-10 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings prior to the trade. That performance and Cimber’s five-and-a-half remaining years of club control surely piqued the interest of the perennially low-budget Indians, but he’s looked more like a serviceable middle reliever than a potential high-leverage option in Cleveland. Over parts of three seasons with the Indians, Cimber has a 4.30 ERA with just 5.4 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9. He’d he been arbitration-eligible as a Super Two player this winter.
Humphreys, 24, has yet to make his big league debut but had a big 2017 season across two Class-A levels in the Mets organization before requiring Tommy John surgery. He allowed just two runs in 13 innings of Rookie ball in 2019 as he rehabbed from that surgery and likely would’ve been ticketed for a Double-A assignment in 2020 had their been a minor league season. The Giants acquired him in the trade that sent Billy Hamilton to Queens and likely hoped to sneak him through waivers, but he’ll instead give Cleveland an interesting depth piece. In 169 2/3 professional innings, Humphreys has a 2.60 ERA and a 177-to-30 K/BB ratio.