CLEVELAND -- The baseball season has officially come to an end, meaning the countdown to Opening Day has started once again. If that feels too far away for Indians fans, there is an earlier date that can be circled on the calendar in the meantime.
On Monday, the Indians announced that the team's annual Tribe Fest is scheduled to return on Jan. 12 at the Cleveland Convention Center. It will mark the event's second straight year at the downtown Cleveland venue, which features a wealth of space to accommodate crowds and a long list of activities.
Tribe Fest will include player autograph sessions, interactive events and speakers on the main stage; multiple baseball diamonds; batting cages; speed pitch; honorary contracts from Indians executives and more.
• Indians' 2019 Spring Training, regular-season schedules
There will be two sessions for the one-day celebration.
From 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Indians will hold a season-ticket holder exclusive event. Tickets for that time slot ($5, benefitting Cleveland Indians Charities) will go on sale on Nov. 5. The general admission session will run from 1:30-7:30 p.m., with tickets ($10) going on sale Nov. 7. For both periods, fans can guarantee player or alumni autographs by bundling autograph session tickets with general ticket purchases (limit of four per session).
The list of participating players will be announced as they are confirmed in the weeks leading up to Tribe Fest. For more details, visit Indians.com/TribeFest. The Indians will face the Reds in their first Cactus League game in Spring Training on Feb. 23, with next season's Opening Day falling on March 28 on the road against the Twins.
Otero headed to Japan
Indians reliever Dan Otero is on the planned MLB roster for the 2018 Japan All-Star Series, which will take place from Nov. 8-15 across Japan. Otero will be Cleveland's lone representative at the event, which continues a tradition that dates back to 1908.
The All-Star Series will consist of seven games, including one exhibition against the Yomiuri Giants on Nov. 8 in Tokyo. That will be followed by three games in Tokyo from Nov. 9-11, one game in Hiroshima on Nov. 13 and two in Nagoya on Nov. 14-15. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Series, including live telecasts of the games from Nov. 9-15.
Otero, 33, has pitched in parts of seven seasons in the Majors, posting a 3.09 ERA in 175 games with the Tribe over the past three years. Last season, the veteran right-hander logged 61 appearances, turning in a 5.22 ERA with 43 strikeouts against five walks in 58 2/3 innings.
• The Indians are currently in a five-day window to negotiate new contracts with their own free agents. That list includes Cody Allen, Michael Brantley, Melky Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, Rajai Davis, Josh Donaldson, Andrew Miller, Oliver Perez and Josh Tomlin.
• Cleveland has until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to decide whether to extend a one-year qualifying offer ($17.9 million) to any of its free agents in order to potentially net Draft-pick compensation should they sign elsewhere. Donaldson is ineligible for such an offer, since he was acquired via trade from the Blue Jays in 2018. If the Indians do give any free agents a qualifying offer, the player(s) will have 10 days to decide whether to accept.