Found December 19, 2013 on
Waiting For Next Year:
Los Angeles Angels
It is not sexy. It is not a needle moving addition. But the Indians got better yesterday. A surplus of right field options has spawned a plugging of another hole. A bullpen gutted by free agent turnover looks as though it has been completely remade. But will this group come together and be as good as they look on paper?
The addition of David Murphy made last year’s regular right fielder Drew Stubbs expendable. While Stubbs proved to be nothing special and had his issues against right-handed pitching, he still had value thanks to his speed and defense. He is a solid fourth outfielder. The only problem for GM Chris Antonetti was that with the signing of Murphy to platoon with Ryan Raburn, every other team knew that Stubbs was going to be traded. There was little leverage there for Kid Chris. So he did the best he could do and was able to add what could be a key piece to the bullpen puzzle. I present to you left-handed reliever Josh Outman.
I am not going to inflate who Outman is. He is a left-handed reliever who the Indians were linked to at the trade deadline last summer. Antonetti admitted as much on his media conference call yesterday. Instead, the Tribe turned to St. Louis and acquired Marc Rzepcynski, who became a solid matchup lefty and a key member of the pen down the stretch. Fast forward five months and Antonetti now has both. Sounds just a tad better than the Rich Hill/Scott Barnes or Nick Hagadone situation to me.
Outman’s numbers show him to be very proficient in neutralizing left-handed batters. Lefties have hit just .189 (.523 OPS) against Josh during his career. The 29-year old spent 2013 becoming a full season specialist. Many a failed starter have become quality relievers and that seems to be the route Outman is taking. Antonetti likes his relievers young and controllable in years. He now has a pen full of options that will be around for years to come should they choose to keep the group together. Outman is arbitration eligible and can’t be a free agent for two more seasons. His 2013 salary should save the Indians about $2.5 million compared to what Stubbs would have grabbed in arbitration.
With Outman and expected new closer John Axford in the fold, the Tribe bullpen makeover looks complete and deep with options. Out are Chris Perez (free agent), Joe Smith (signed with Los Angeles Angels), Matt Albers (signed with Houston), and everyone’s favorite lefty Hill (free agent). In a perfect world, Axford would look great in camp and break as the closer. Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw will be the late inning right-handed set up men. Both were terrific down the stretch and were ridden hard by manager Terry Francona. Rzepcynski will most likely get the first crack at being the matchup lefty, but Outman should be close behind. The last two or three spots will be battles between Vinnie Pestano, C.C. Lee, Blake Wood, Hagadone, and Josh Tomlin, should he not make the club as the fifth starter. Another name to remember is Carlos Carrasco, who is out of options and will be on the team one way or another. He will get his first crack though at being a starter.
“Our job is trying to piece together the best bullpen we can, and we feel we’ve had some progress,” Antonetti said. “We’ll continue to look to improve if we can. I feel good about the group that we have and I feel as though we’re improved from where we were at the start of the offseason.”
The best laid plans rarely work out. Think about where the Tribe’s pen sat at this time a year ago. Everyone expected the three-headed monster of Perez, Pestano, and Smith to continue their run of dominance. Hagadone was thought to be the guy who would become the late inning lefty. Scott Barnes would also be getting a look. Allen was a wild card after showing nice stuff at the end of 2012. Nobody really knew what to make of Shaw and Albers. Other than the big three, the other roles were far from being defined. By the end of the season, Perez was out as closer, Pestano was a complete non-factor, and Smith, Allen, Shaw, and Rzepcynski seemingly had to pitch every day down the stretch.
I really like how Antonetti put this pen together in front of Axford. But the closer spot is easily the biggest concern. Which Axford will show up in Cleveland? The 2011 dominant version or the guy who struggled so badly between the second half of 2012 and the first half of 2013 that the Milwaukee Brewers dealt him to St. Louis?
BEST OF MAXIM
The Cleveland Indians traded Drew Stubs to the Rockies today. In return they received LHP Josh Outman. The Indians could really use a left-handed relief pitcher and they certainly picked one up with the right last name. Outman pitches well to left-handed batters, but the word on the street is, don’t pitch him to right-handed batters. Outman started his major league career in Oakland...
Asdrubal Cabrera was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012, yet when Cleveland finally made the playoffs in 2013, the shortstop had arguably the worst season of his career. You can live with his below-average defense at shortstop when he is hitting, but after seeing his offensive line sink to .242/.299/.402 -- only good for a 95 wRC+ -- Cabrera ended 2013 essentially as a replacement-level...
Sources have confirmed that the Indians are receiving left-handed reliever Josh Outman in return for outfielder Drew Stubbs. Outman, 29, owns a 4.61 career ERA in five seasons with Oakland and Colorado.
During 2013, he had a 4.33 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 13 holds while striking out 53 batters in 54.0 innings for the Rockies.
Stubbs would have been the fifth outfielder for the Indians...
With Yan Gomes established as Cleveland's starting catcher in 2014, Carlos Santana has begun to work out at third base in the Dominican Republic. Finding a way to get Santana at bats away from the designated hitter spot is a good one, but one big question remains:
Will Santana at third base be more harmful than helpful?
The last time Santana played third base on a semi-regular...
The Cleveland Indians today announced the organizational staff alignment within the Player Development System for the upcoming season:
Field Coordinator: Tom WiedenbauerAsst Field Coordinator: Luis OrtizPitching Coordinator: Ruben NieblaLower-Level Pitching Coordinator/Mental Skills: Julio RangelHitting Coordinator: Alan ZinterRehab Coordinator: Thomas AlbertStrength...
The Indians made another move to remodel their bullpen, adding a pitcher with a name seemingly suited for his role.
Cleveland acquired Josh Outman on Wednesday from the Colorado Rockies in a trade for outfielder Drew Stubbs. The left-handed Outman is the newest member to Cleveland's revamped bullpen, which has seen All-Star closer Chris Perez released and free agent right-handers...
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in offseason winter ball leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.
DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)
Carlos Santana (Leones del Escogido...
Since the last time I opined in exacerbating detail the Indians have made three moves which will undoubtedly be impactful on the 2014 season. The three pertinent moves include the signing ofJohn Axford, Shaun Marcum’s entrance into the fold, and the trade of Drew Stubbs for Josh Outman. This is of course conceding that the Matt Treanor signing to a minor-league deal will...
The Indians acquired a new super hero today by the name of "Out-Man". Josh "Out-Man" Outman is a 29 year old, left handed specialist who most recently pitched for the Colorado Rockies. He will come in a deal for Drew Stubbs, the Indians' right handed hitting right fielder, who has been on the trading table since the Indians signed David Murphy. Both Stubbs...
Catcher Carlos Santana is five games into his re-introduction to third base. So far, the move hasn’t hurt his bat, but his glove and arm are still getting re-acquainted to life at the hot corner.
Santana is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with three errors for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Republic. Two of the errors came in one game – one on a throw, one on a ground ball...
The Indians officially announced the signing of right-hander John Axford on Thursday to a one-year $4.5 million deal. The two sides agreed on the deal Monday, but Axford needed to pass a physical.
Axford, 30, will be the Indians closer even though he spent much of last season as a set-up man after losing the closer’s job with Milwaukee in April.
The 6-5 right-hander closed for...
The Cleveland Indians’ track record is far from perfect, but it appears they were right on the mark with regard to Shin-Soo Choo. Choo was an absolute steal when the Indians traded Ben Broussard for him before the 2006 MLB season. The team also sold pretty high on him when they traded him to the Reds for Drew Stubbs and Trevor Bauer. Even as WFNY has debated what Choo would garner...
The winds of change are blowing here at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario, as Drew Stubbs was sent packing to the Colorado Rockies for left-handed reliever, Josh Outman.
The deal in and of itself wasn’t something that should shake the ground that Cleveland Indians fans walk on, but it certainly showcases Chris Antonetti’s drive to reshape this team.
Stubbs became expendable...
Outfielder Drew Stubbs played 146 games for the Cleveland Indians last season but batted only .233 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI. He also had a weak .305 on-base percentage and .360 slugging percentage. With the Indians recent signing of David Murphy, the hand writing was on the wall for Stubbs. Rotoworld.com reported a tweet from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Indians...
Cleveland traded outfielder Drew Stubbs to the Colorado Rockies Wednesday in exchange for left-hander reliever Josh Outman. The trade was first reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Cleveland's return was first reported by the Denver Post's Troy Renck.
Stubbs, 29, posted a .233/.305/.360 line with 0.8 fWAR in 146 games in 2013 after being acquired as a part...