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Indians acquire Brewer from Diamondbacks

Indians acquire Brewer from Diamondbacks
Charles Brewer (Photo: AP)
November 23, 2014
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According to a report in the Arizona Republic, the Indians and Diamondbacks have agreed to a trade where the Diamondbacks are sending right-handed pitcher Charles Brewer to the Indians for cash.

Brewer, 26, was designated for assignment on Thursday so the Diamondbacks had 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minors. He had yet to be put on waivers while the Diamondbacks searched for possible trade fits and the Indians apparently were interested.

Last season the 6-feet-3 205-pound pitcher went 11-12 with a 4.46 ERA in 29 starts between Double-A Mobile (7 starts) and Triple-A Reno (22 starts). In 169.2 innings he allowed 182 hits, 13 homers, 48 walks and had 138 strikeouts. In his six year minor league career he owns a 50-42 record with a 4.09 ERA in 137 appearances (124 starts) and in 721.0 innings has a 2.4 BB/9 and 7.8 K/9. He has limited Major League experience appearing in four games in 2013 throwing a total of 6.0 innings and allowing 8 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.

Brewer really has no shot to make the Indians roster out of spring training, but he represents what the Indians have stated they wanted to do this offseason which is add some starting pitching depth. Starting pitching depth comes in the way of inexpensive moves with some roster flexibility and that have some potential to help at the Major League level. Brewer is no rotation savior, but he becomes a depth option for the team as the eighth or ninth option behind Zach McAllisterJosh Tomlin and either ahead or behind Nick Maronde.

Currently, McAllister is slated to be the Indians sixth starter. If no one in the current five-man rotation of Corey KluberCarlos CarrascoDanny SalazarTrevor Bauer and T.J. House are injured in spring training, then McAllister will open the 2015 season as the Indians long man out of the bullpen because he is out of options. He would be in a similar situation and have the same role as Carrasco last season.

Tomlin is the only other true starting option for the Indians at the Major League level on the 40-man roster, but he will open the season at Triple-A Columbus as immediate starting depth. He has options left and with McAllister in Cleveland there is no room to carry him as a long man. The Indians are working to transition Maronde back into a starter and believe he could be a depth option for them next year and will open the season in Columbus.

Outside of those three pitchers the Indians have no other options on the 40-man roster to call upon if a need arises in the rotation. They did roster Cody Anderson and Ryan Merritt on Thursday and both are starting pitching prospects for the Indians, but neither is expected to pitch in Cleveland next year except maybe very late in the season if they really progress and a need arises.

This is where the pickup of Brewer comes in as a depth starting option for them they can stash in Triple-A next season. He has one option remaining, will cost a little over $100,000 to have on hand in Triple-A all year and has some potential to help in the big leagues. That is the very definition of starting depth.

Brewer is not going to be a rotation stalwart for the Indians for the next half decade, but could be an interesting fill-in along the lines of Josh Tomlin, Aaron Laffey and others before them. He has a good pitcher's body with a solid 89-92 MPH fastball that he commands well and complements it with an average curveball and mixes in a slider and changeup. He lacks a put away pitch but commands all of his pitches well and is a back of the rotation starter type.

The Indians 40-man roster is currently full at 40 players so it will be interesting to see who the Indians designate for assignment to clear space. The obvious top possibility is lefty Scott Barnes as he is out of options and has no chance to make the Indians opening day roster next spring so will have to be DFAed at some point between now and the end of spring training anyway. Chances are good that he will clear waivers if DFAed and if so he would remain property of the Indians for 2015.

If Barnes is not DFAed, then the aforementioned Maronde would probably be the next option. He has struggled with inconsistency since joining the Indians and did not have a very good Arizona Fall League showing. The other option would be right-handed reliever Bryan Price. If either Maronde or Price are DFAed and clear waivers, they would remain property of the Indians for the 2015 season as well.

An official announcement should come from the Indians soon on the Brewer acquisition and who has been removed from the roster.

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

Jerry
November 24, 2014 - 6:56 PM EST
I agree with the notion that the signing of Brewer may mean that Tomlin or even McCallister can be packaged with players such as Chisenhall and Ramirez to net a right-handed bat with some pop. Let's say Bourn or Murphy is added to the mix and, given Atlanta's desire for pitching, replacing Heyward and help in the infield, Justin Upton comes to mind.
Ryan
November 24, 2014 - 3:19 PM EST
St. Louis is looking for a pitcher now they traded Miller. Dodgers are probably looking as well, those are two teams who are well suited for Tomlin's talents, big ballparks in the NL. If someone who was struggling as much as Masterson as a rental was willing to net Ramsey, I would have to say that I am going to be hoping Tomlin can net us a decent prospect.
Too Real For You?
November 24, 2014 - 10:38 AM EST
meh this is like a who give a f kind of trade. this dude will be in the Mexican League before we can even remember his name. just bein real
Homer
November 24, 2014 - 8:46 AM EST
Every team makes these kind of moves, there's 40 slots to fill and some are fringe talent, Brewer fits that description.
Joseph
November 24, 2014 - 2:24 AM EST
Wow, Charles Brewer...What a pickup! Can Antonetti get any more pathetic? By the way...Who in the world is Charles Brewer?
Roger
November 23, 2014 - 9:16 PM EST
Homer, i dont disagree with you conceptually however i think it is 65/35 that what we saw in aug sept from our starters will either be3 replicated or exceeded. Bauer and salazar will vastly improved carrasco was considered at one time the first or second best pitcher on the BA top 100 list with the philliesand house has the bulldog mentality in a pitcher that you cant teach and his camera idea was brilliant use ofmodern tech gadgets so what we saw in august and sept maybe in fact the real deal so we see a slight drop off of klub's numbers but could be picked up and exceeded by the other 4. now that brings me to tomlin lets hypathetically surmise he does in c-bus what zac mac did he could be a nice item for a team with a need for a MOR or BOR starter some significant talent in return. We can at least hope if this is the biggest issue things will be bright on the mound in 2015. How good your excess is seems to me to be nice problem to have!!!
Homer
November 23, 2014 - 7:56 PM EST
Roger,

I had similar thoughts, re: moving on from Tomlin. First, I don't see it happening...Tomlin is an experienced major league arm. Second, Tomlin will "only" cost $1.7M according to projections (mlbtraderumors.com). Third, they know what they are getting...and have done similar with Kevin Slowey a few yrs back.

Now why I think it's possible...First, the cost, while relatively inexpensive it's still about $1.2M more for Tomlin than say, Brewer, Cloyd, Maronde. Second, in all likelihood they would get something similar in terms of results. Third, with teams always in search of SP options, Tomlin might intrigue a team enough to overpay or at least request Tomlin as part of a trade package.

Overall, my impression of the Brewer deal is... the Indians wanted depth, Brewer provides that. He has an option yr, and buys time for Anderson, Merritt, Roberts, Colon, Morimando, Plutko, Baker, Lugo, Brown, Pannone, Shane and others to develop at an adequate level comparable to their readiness.
Roger
November 23, 2014 - 5:47 PM EST
i wonder if in the gm meetings there may have been som epreliminary discussions onmoving josh tomlin and this guy is merely musical chairs to replace tomlin he would have some value in the right stadium a stadium where homers are as plentiful more of a pitchers park he would have value as innings eater. he is not a AAA pitcher he isnt my type of pitcher but some team may value his bull dog mentality and control and in the right stadium he could be a back end of the rotation guy. The tribe has one of the better rotations around irregarless of age.
Homer
November 23, 2014 - 5:32 PM EST
Poredo is pitching over seas next season. Can't remember if it was Japan or Korea.
shy
November 23, 2014 - 5:01 PM EST
There's an intriguing lefty just released by the Rangers that I'd like to see the Tribe invite for a workout. His name is Aaron Poredo. I used to watch him pitch locally and tagged him as a can't miss. The White Sox drafted him in the first round a few years back , he pitched in and out of arm trouble for a couple of years and then had the TJ surggery in 2012. This guy can go 96-97 and has a pretty good curve ball. I think with a good coach like Callaway and a chance to pitch regularly he could be special.
Clay
November 23, 2014 - 11:01 AM EST
Scott Barnes DFA'd

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