DENVER -- The Rockies' push to improve the back end of their bullpen has landed them durable right-hander Bryan Shaw, the only pitcher in the Majors to make at least 70 appearances in each of the past five seasons. Colorado announced a three-year contract with the former Indians reliever on
DENVER -- The Rockies' push to improve the back end of their bullpen has landed them durable right-hander Bryan Shaw, the only pitcher in the Majors to make at least 70 appearances in each of the past five seasons. Colorado announced a three-year contract with the former Indians reliever on Friday.
Shaw, 30, went 5-6 with a 3.52 ERA and three saves in 79 appearances for Cleveland in 2017. The deal is in the range of $9 million per year, according to a report by ESPN's Buster Olney.
General manager Jeff Bridich went into the offseason looking to bolster the back of the bullpen, and Shaw is part of that effort. After serving as the Indians' primary setup man, the righty slots in as an experienced replacement for Pat Neshek. After being acquired from the Phillies at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and helping the Rockies to the postseason, Neshek signed a two-year contract to return to the Phillies.
Shaw led the American League in appearances in three of the past four seasons, pitching in 80 games in 2014, 75 in 2016 as the Indians won the AL pennant and 79 in 2017. Shaw also has postseason experience, having posted a 2.45 ERA with 22 strikeouts and six walks in 22 career playoff innings. That includes 14 postseason appearances in the past two years.
In 2017, Shaw became the first Major League pitcher to have at least 70 appearances in five straight years since Joe Smith from 2011-15. Shaw and Jeurys Familia are the only pitchers in baseball with at least 70 games and 75 innings in a season three times in the past 10 years. Over the past five, Shaw has posted a 3.11 ERA with a 3.45 FIP and the most games (378), innings (tied at 358 2/3) and pitches thrown (5,892) among Major League relievers.
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Indians manager Terry Francona lauded Shaw for his dependability at the end of the regular season.
"The way I view [him] is it's almost like the offensive lineman who shows up every game, and the only time people really talk about him is when he misses a block," Francona said. "He took so much pride in being available, and he carried so much of the load for us for five years. It is remarkable. And you guys saw the other day, he was throwing 97. I think because of his personality, people laugh it off at times. But my goodness sakes, he is so reliable."
In addition to durability, Shaw brings a strike-throwing ability that the Rockies value late in games. His 3.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2017 was a career high. Also, his homers per nine innings has never been above 1.1 in a season.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**. Jordan Bastian and *Manny Randhawa * contributed.