Cookie returns to Cleveland, agrees to Minor League deal

February 1st, 2024

CLEVELAND -- Cookie is back.

The Guardians have agreed to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league Spring Training with pitcher , the club announced on Thursday.

Carrasco has always been a fan favorite in Cleveland. He pitched for the organization from 2009-2020, owning a 3.77 ERA with 1,305 strikeouts in 1,242 1/3 innings.

It wasn’t until the winter just before the 2021 season got underway that Carrasco was traded with Francisco Lindor to the Mets. As fans were prepared to part with Lindor, Carrasco’s sudden departure was much more surprising. Now, a reunion could be in the future if he makes the 26-man roster.

Carrasco was a big part of the Cleveland community, frequently visiting sick children at the Cleveland Clinic and constantly interacting with fans. His connection with the city grew even stronger as many rallied around him to support him during his battle with leukemia throughout most of the 2019 season. Just months after his emotional return to the mound, he was heading to New York with Lindor.

The Guardians don’t have as much starting pitching depth as they’ve had in the past. Carrasco could be the perfect sixth man if Cleveland would need another starter. And when he’s not needed in the rotation, Carrasco has proven he can work in relief. Although Xzavion Curry filled a similar role for the Guardians last year, the experience Carrasco brings to the table would be worth carrying.

Carrasco has dealt with a slew of injuries since he left Cleveland. In 2021, he was limited to 12 starts due to a hamstring strain. He made 29 starts in ‘22 (with a 3.97 ERA) but still had a flare up in his left oblique toward the end of the year. Last season, he missed a month early in the year due to right elbow inflammation, and then ended his season early from a right pinky fracture.

Carrasco is one of three Minor League signings for the Guardians this week. The club also added outfielder Lorenzo Cedrola and right-hander Tyler Beede, both of whom received non-roster invitations to big league Spring Training camp.