CLEVELAND -- Here are three key things we learned about the Indians on Friday: Yan Gomes is gone, Danny Salazar is staying for at least a little while and Carlos Carrasco might be staying for a long while.The big news, of course, was that the Tribe simultaneously completed a money-saving
CLEVELAND -- Here are three key things we learned about the Indians on Friday: Yan Gomes is gone, Danny Salazar is staying for at least a little while and Carlos Carrasco might be staying for a long while.
The big news, of course, was that the Tribe simultaneously completed a money-saving swap sending Gomes to the Nationals while tendering contracts to all of their remaining arbitration-eligible players. That means the star-crossed Salazar, who did not throw a pitch in 2018, will stay in the fold, as he and the Indians agreed to a one-year deal that MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported to be worth $4.5 million. The Indians also avoided arbitration with right-handers Neil Ramirez and Nicholas Goody and came to terms on a deal with infielder Eric Stamets.
Meanwhile, a source confirmed the Indians have had discussions with Carrasco about an extension that would keep him in Cleveland beyond the club's current contractual control through 2020. Though the deal may or may not actually get done, the talks serve as an intriguing subplot at a time when the Indians have been known to be listening to offers on their controllable starters, Carrasco included.
If the Indians do end up moving a starting pitcher, the soon-to-be-29-year-old Salazar's importance as a depth piece in either the rotation or the bullpen only grows. For now, the Indians felt him worthy of the gamble, given his pedigree as a 2016 All-Star, despite him missing '18 with a right shoulder issue that led to a surgery to clean up inflammation in July. Various arm and shoulder issues limited Salazar, who made $5 million in 2018, to 240 1/3 innings in 2016-17.
"Danny continues to progress well in his rehab at this point," Indians president Chris Antonetti said. "We've all seen what he's capable of doing when he's healthy. Hopefully he can be a contributing member of our pitching staff next year."
Ramirez, like Salazar, is a bit of a gamble, as his effectiveness in the Indians' bullpen waned considerably as 2018 evolved. He went from not allowing a run in 12 1/3 innings in the month of June and filling a valuable setup role to posting a 6.10 ERA in the second half and not making the American League Division Series roster.
"For a while in that time when our bullpen was really struggling Neil and Oliver Perez came in and really stabilized it," Antonetti said. "Hopefully he's on the path to being a regular contributor for us moving forward."
The arbitration cases of Lindor and Bauer, both of whom are projected by MLB Trade Rumors to see their 2019 salaries jump into the eight-figure range, are a big reason why the Indians are being especially careful with how they allocate their resources this offseason and why they've deemed trading established talent from the Major League roster to be necessary.
But if a Carrasco extension does get completed, that would yank him off the trade table in an offseason in which his name -- along with those of Bauer and two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber -- has been bandied about quite a bit. For now, Carrasco is due to make $9.75 million in 2019, and the Indians hold a 2020 club option on him with a base value of $9.5 million.
Antonetti would not comment on the state of negotiations with Carrasco or with other clubs about the Tribe's starters.
"We're in the fortunate position to have a lot of players on our team that other teams value," he said. "It leads to a lot of conversations this time of year."
In other roster news on a busy Friday, the Indians non-tendered James Hoyt, a reliever they had acquired in a minor trade with the Astros midseason. Hoyt had a 10.13 ERA in 2 2/3 innings at Triple-A Columbus and dealt with a knee injury.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.