ARLINGTON -- Cody Allen knows this could be his final shot at winning a World Series with the Indians. The franchise's recently crowned all-time saves leader is one of a handful of Cleveland's upcoming free agents, creating a sense of urgency for many of the players inside the Tribe's clubhouse.On
ARLINGTON -- Cody Allen knows this could be his final shot at winning a World Series with the Indians. The franchise's recently crowned all-time saves leader is one of a handful of Cleveland's upcoming free agents, creating a sense of urgency for many of the players inside the Tribe's clubhouse.
On Thursday afternoon, when Allen learned that the Indians acquired closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber from San Diego in exchange for catching prospect Francisco Mejia, it was like a shot of adrenaline. For the third year in a row, the Indians' front office pulled off an impact trade with a deep October run in mind.
"It's definitely a boost," Allen said at Thursday's team workout. "It's like, 'Holy cow, we already have a really good team and we just got a lot better.' It kind of jacks everybody up going into the last few months of the season. You want to see just how good this team can be and where we can go."
Cimber was scheduled to fly to Texas on Thursday night, while Hand was slated to travel to join his new team on Friday. Both pitchers are expected to be with Cleveland and available for the second-half opener against the Rangers on Friday. Manager Terry Francona has already discussed their potential roles with pitching coach Carl Willis, but he will sit down with the pitchers on Friday to get their thoughts.
"I want to talk to those guys when they get here," Francona said. "I want to get to know them and get them involved as quickly as we can."
Hand comes with closing experience (2.66 ERA and 46 saves over the past three years) and might be utilized as a leverage weapon until Andrew Miller returns from the 10-day disabled list. Cimber -- a standout rookie -- has been exceptional against right-handed batters (.482 opponents' OPS), giving Francona a weapon that should enable the Indians to be flexible in how and when to use Dan Otero, Zach McAllister and Neil Ramirez.
Allen was excited to see how it all comes together, especially once Miller rejoins the fold.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Allen said, "because I think [Francona's] got quite a few guys down there that are very interchangeable. Tito's going to be in a spot where he can really put guys in certain situations to face certain parts of the lineup to have a lot of success."
Yandy Diaz and Melky Cabrera were up from Triple-A Columbus and in the visitors' clubhouse at Globe Life Park on Thursday night, providing a glimpse into Cleveland's upcoming roster plans. Francona noted that both players will be officially added to the Indians' active roster prior to Friday's game, along with Hand and Cimber.
In order to clear room on the roster, the Indians will option right-hander Adam Plutko, left-hander Tyler Olson and outfielder Greg Allen to Triple-A Columbus. Cleveland optioned Mejia after Sunday's game, accounting for the fourth roster opening.
"It's unbelievable. Kudos to our front office. For the last few years, they've given us every opportunity to win. After the first half, there was an obvious need down there, but I think every team in baseball -- regardless of how your bullpen is -- that's an area of your team that you can always probably improve. And our organization has done an unbelievable job of not just going and getting a guy, but going and getting the guy." --Allen, on Thursday's trade
• Miller (10-day DL, right knee) worked one inning in his latest rehab outing with Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. The left-hander struck out one, allowed a solo home run and threw 17 pitches. Francona noted that the reliever will continue to log rehab appearances in the Minors.
"He's doing OK. We're going to let him pitch a little bit more, but he's on the right road," Francona said. "The biggest thing is just getting him feeling like he's ready to go out there and fire it, and not have to think about anything but getting hitters out."
• Indians starter Trevor Bauer (Friday's starter vs. Texas) wanted to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday badly enough that he jokingly asked American League bullpen coach Doug White if he could take the mound for the National League. The NL was running low on arms as the game entered extras and Bauer was only deemed available for the AL if the game reached the 12th.
"He was like, 'Yeah right. You're an American League pitcher. You're staying right here,'" Bauer said with a laugh on Thursday. "I was like, 'Come on Dougie. We've known each other too long for you to limit me like this!'"
• Righty Shane Bieber worked three innings for Columbus on Thursday, allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The starter threw 50 pitches in the outing, which kept him on a routine over the All-Star break. Cleveland plans on recalling Bieber on Tuesday to start against the Pirates.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.