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2013 Indians Major League and Minor League free agents

2013 Indians Major League and Minor League free agents
October 4, 2013
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Here are the free agents in the entire Cleveland Indians organization from the major league roster on down through the minors.

Major League Free Agents

Pitchers: Matt Albers (RHP), Rich Hill (LHP), Scott Kazmir (LHP), Joe Smith (RHP)

Position players: Jason Giambi (DH), Kelly Shoppach (CA)

Note: Right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has an $8 million mutual option which the Indians will pick up but Jimenez will likely decline, making him a free agent. The Indians will probably also then offer Jimenez the qualifying offer (one year for approximately $14-15 million) which he will probably also decline. By offering the qualifying offer the Indians will get a first round draft pick as compensation if Jimenez signs elsewhere.

Also, outfielder Jason Kubel has a $7.5 million mutual option that the Indians will very likely decline, thus making him a free agent.

The Indians also have three non-tender candidates in catcher Lou Marson, right-handed reliever Chris Perez and outfielder Drew Stubbs. Marson and Perez look like definite non-tender guys although there is a chance that Stubbs returns. If a player is non-tendered he becomes a free agent.

Minor League Free Agents

Pitchers: Rob Bryson (RHP), Matt Capps (RHP), Paolo Espino (RHP), Jose Flores (RHP), Jerry Gil (RHP), J.C. Romero (LHP)

Catchers: Matthew Colantino, Omir Santos

Infielders: Juan DiazLuis HernandezMatt LaPortaMatt LawsonRyan RohlingerNate Spears

Outfielders: Ezequiel CarreraBo GreenwellJeremy HermidaCedric Hunter

Note: Outfielder Tim Fedroff was designated for assignment in September along with shortstop Juan Diaz. Diaz is a free agent Fedroff is not because Diaz has six renewed contract seasons while Fedroff only has six after this year (he will be eligible for free agency after next season if he is not on a 40-man roster).

Minor League Free Agency (Rule 55)

Who is eligible: If a player is not on the 40-man roster, a minor leaguer is eligible for free agency and becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) six years after their first season ends with an organization. This is why they are often called “six year minor league free agents” because they become a free agent after six renewal options afforded to the major league organization have all expired.

In general, once a player has six full seasons in the minors he is eligible for minor league free agency. For example, if a player was drafted in June of 2007 and signed in July of the same year, then his renewal seasons were 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and he would be a minor league free agent after the 2013 season.

There is an exception to this rule for a player that has been released from their first organization before they have used up all six renewal options. When this happens and the player signs with another club, that organization has the option of signing the player to as many years as they want up until the expiration of their sixth renewable contract. In most cases, however, the new club opts to sign the player to a one year deal, and even if the player has not had six full seasons he would be a MLFA after that season.

Also, a player does not become a MLFA if they agree to a successor contract prior to October 15th. A successor contract is basically just an agreement between player and organization to extend and sign for the following season in the period between the end of the season and the start of minor league free agency (this is what happened withAdam Miller three years ago).

Timeline: On August 1st the Commissioner issues a listing of all players eligible to become MLFAs for the upcoming offseason. On October 15th a player officially becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) if the club that originally signed him no longer has one of their six renewal options available to them. On October 16th the Commissioner issues the final MLFA list to all clubs, and a MLFA may negotiate a deal with any major league club for a major league or minor league contract.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Rich D
October 4, 2013 - 8:43 PM EDT
Santana is our backup catcher. And knowing how much Tito loves relief pitchers, I doubt he'll be willing to give one up to put a third catcher on the team.
October 4, 2013 - 4:37 PM EDT
Don't see him being on the 40-man as an issue this winter. Lots of other deadweight that can be trimmed.

Don't see losing Marson as a win win....agree to disagree there I guess. A healthy Marson is a solid backup catcher.
October 4, 2013 - 3:45 PM EDT
Anything more than the minimum for Marson is an overpay. Also, he takes up a 40-man spot. Would rather use his spot on someone else and also save the money. Get a catcher on a minor league save money and you also don't have to worry about him being on the roster. Win win.
October 4, 2013 - 3:24 PM EDT
"The Indians also have three non-tender candidates in catcher Lou Marson, right-handed reliever Chris Perez and outfielder Drew Stubbs. Marson and Perez look like definite non-tender guys although there is a chance that Stubbs returns. If a player is non-tendered he becomes a free agent."

I think that Perez is certainly gone and Marson is probably gone too, and there's unlikely to be a trade market for either, although Marson may be able to net a low minor-leaguer. I would keep Stubbs as our 4th OF, but could also see them include Stubbs as part of a trade to a team that needs a centerfielder. We probably wouldn't get much, but I would think he must still has some value.
October 4, 2013 - 2:57 PM EDT
A cheap free agent catcher will only save you $750K though (I think $1.5M for Marson is optimistic). Obviously every penny counts but hope that's not the reason Marson is let go. If he's let go because they don't feel he's a good backup option that's fine.
October 4, 2013 - 1:46 PM EDT
I assume payroll will be in the 80-90 million range.
October 4, 2013 - 1:10 PM EDT
I'd expect Giambi to sign for the minimum; can't see any bullpen arms being resigned outside of Smith who we may overpay slightly for but oh well. Kazmir will command maybe more than we want; who knows who could fill in the 5 spot. I'd rather keep Carrasco in the bullpen as I think he found his calling, I'd hate to have to count on Tomlin or Bauer.

Tony, what do you expect their cap to be, around 85 again?
October 4, 2013 - 12:30 PM EDT
When every dollar matters, it makes little sense to keep Marson around and pay him $1.5M or a little more to be the third catcher. He is easily replaced by the litany of minor league free agent catchers out there for cheap.
October 4, 2013 - 12:19 PM EDT
Unless the Indians really feel they need his 40-man spot, I'm not sure Marson should be non-tendered. Would be nice to have a 3rd catcher on the roster next year allowing Santana to DH if he's not moved to RF.

Or is his shoulder still an issue?
Canadian Joe
October 4, 2013 - 10:45 AM EDT
If Ubaldo goes FA, will be interesting to see where he ends up. It appears Mickey Callaway worked long and hard in resurrecting him, and Ubaldo, I think, will always be a project. His mechanics are not sound, and though he was very good the last half of the year, I would think Callaway had to keep a sharp eye on him. Buyer beware.
October 4, 2013 - 10:39 AM EDT
Ok, thanks Tony. He put up a really solid performance as the 5th OF/pinch-hitter and could play a similar role next September (or even play 4th OF, in event of injury).
John L.
October 4, 2013 - 9:51 AM EDT
I had no idea that almost the entire columbus starting lineup were free agents. Wonder who will move up from within the lower ranks of the minors this offseason to pair with all the minor league vets the tribe signs to play in AAA in the coming months. Need some OF & catching depth.
October 4, 2013 - 9:09 AM EDT
Carson is on the 40-man. As long as he stays on it, he is not a free agent. If he is DFAed, which probably happens at some point, he becomes a free agent.
October 4, 2013 - 9:02 AM EDT
Stubbs would likely be too expensive if he is being retained simply to play out of position at RF. Although if Bourn were traded then Stubbs could slot in to his natural position at CF, where he would be somewhat better value than at RF.

Tony, what is Matt Carson's contract position, please?

October 4, 2013 - 8:29 AM EDT
I hope that the Indians. Do not nontennder Stubbs. they donot have a replacement for him in AAA.

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