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Indians add five players to 40-man roster

Indians add five players to 40-man roster
November 20, 2013
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The Cleveland Indians today announced that they have added right-handed pitcher Bryan Price, right-handed pitcher Austin Adams, infielder Erik Gonzalez, first baseman Jesus Aguilar and outfielder Carlos Moncrief to the 40-man roster. To make room on the roster, they have designated infielder Cord Phelps for assignment. The roster is currently full at 40 players.

Price, 27, enjoyed a breakout season in 2013 between Triple-A Columbus and Double-A Akron recording a 2.04 ERA and 4 saves in 47 games (75.0IP, 57H, 21R/17ER, 16BB, 92K).  He limited hitters to a .206 (57-277) average against and averaged 11.0 strikeouts per 9.0IP during his tenure in Akron and Columbus.  He is currently second in the Venezuelan Winter League in saves and is sporting a winter ERA of 1.89 in 15 games (1GS, 19.0IP, 8H, 4ER, 6BB, 19K, .133AVG). He was acquired by the Indians from Boston withJustin Masterson and Nick Hagadone for Victor Martinez in July 2009.

Adams, 27, spent the entire season in a relief role at Double-A Akron, going 3-2 with 4 saves and a 2.62 ERA in 45 appearances (55.0IP, 44H, 16ER, 3HR, 29BB, 76K, .215AVG). He averaged 12.44 strikeouts per 9.0-innings pitched and limited right-handed batters to a .158 (18-114) average against after missing the entire 2012 season due to right shoulder surgery. He owns a career ERA of 3.28 in 114 games/46 starts (340.0IP, 320H, 124ER, 348K).

Aguilar, 23, set the Double-A Akron franchise single-season record with an Eastern League-best 105 RBI, hitting .275 (137-499) with 28 doubles, 16 home runs and 66 runs scored in 130 games.  His 105 RBI led the Player Development system and ranked 6th in all of Minor League Baseball.  The Eastern League All-Star has carried his regular season success into winter ball where he is hitting .313 (41-131) in 33 games in his native Venezuela while ranking among league leaders in home runs (T1st, 10), RBI (2nd, 31), total bases (T2nd, 75) and runs (T4th, 25).  He was originally signed by Cleveland as an amateur free agent in November of 2007.

Moncrief, 25, spent the entire 2013 season with AA Akron where he batted .284 (139-489) with 26 doubles, 7 triples, 17 home runs, 75 RBI and 77 runs scored in 129 games as he established new career Minor League-bests and led the Akron club in virtually every offensive category.  His 17 homers were tied for 1st among Indians farmhands while his 75 RBI were 3rd in the system.  The Eastern League All-Star selection finished among league leaders in OPS (7th, .824), hits (T4th, 139), runs (T6th, 77) and triples (T6th, 7).  The converted pitcher was originally selected by the Indians in the 14th round of the 2008 draft out of Chipola (FL) Junior College and spent his first two years (2008-09) in the pros as a relief pitcher.

Gonzalez, 22, split the 2013 campaign between low-A Lake County and high-A Carolina where he batted .254 (129-508) with 32 doubles, 12 triples, 9 home runs, 76RBI and 75 runs scored in 132 games.  The versatile infielder appeared in 65 games at third base, 55 games at shortstop, 13 games at second base and 1 game apiece at first base and center field as his 76 RBI were second in the organization to Aguilar. Erik has continued to make a name for himself after the season for Escogido in his native Dominican Republic, hitting .351 (33-94) with 12 runs, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR & 8 RBI in 25 games (.839OPS) in winter ball, leading the league in hits (33) while currently ranking 2nd in average and triples. This year marked his first full Minor League season after signing as an amateur free agent in August of 2008.

Phelps will probably clear waivers, and if he does, he has to accept an outright assignment to the minors and would be under the Indians control for the 2014 season as a non-roster player. Also, it is important to note that outfielder David Murphy has not yet been formally added to the roster, so when he does, another player will need to be cleared from the roster. The expectation is that Drew Stubbs may be traded, but if he is not, then Matt Carsonwould probably be DFAed.

User Comments

November 22, 2013 - 12:17 AM EST
Gonzalez reminds me of Juan Diaz a few years back, both in questionable MLB readiness at the time of rostering and in the early FA signings setting a ridiculous market on utility INF. I'd guess he's better value in the Rule 5 draft than signing somebody like Punto or Schumaker to 2-yrs/$5-6MM.

Adams actually reminds me some of Salazar as a power arm with starting experience that projects immediately in a MLB bullpen. Adams being 5 years older than Salazar and shoulder surgery being a way bigger wild card than elbow surgery really temper my expectations though.
November 21, 2013 - 6:02 PM EST
It sounds like Bryan Price and Josh Tomlin could be added to starting line-up. Bryan sounds like another Danny, who was very good year. the bull pen with Austin Adams, CC Lee and Carraso would fill the holes very well. It seems that Jesus Aguilar could be ready for the majors if he continues to do well and maybe Swish could DH and 1B next year. Carlos Santana could DH and 1B - pretty good rotation with these three. Moncrief could if he is now ready after the breakout season could be a factor in the outfield. Then you have Gonzalez to challenge Mike for utility player and let the best one win. Remember Mike failed in a lot of players in scoring position.
Summary: Very like to moves and feel that we currently have the players to fill the gaps in the bullpen. Biggest worry - 3B.
Maybe trading Michael for Chase Headley would achieve that need. I feel that keeping Drew over Mike would be a big since Drew is younger and very fast. Go TRIBE!
November 21, 2013 - 2:07 PM EST
Surprised on Gonzalez but don't think Phelps will be a loss. Thought this was one of the easier/less stressful years for the Rule 5/roster crunch. Lots of deadweight on the 40-man and not a ton of guys I'd be that worried with losing. Still got Carson, Hermann, plus others on the roster who can easily be DFAed. Stubbs could be dealt soon too.
November 21, 2013 - 9:12 AM EST
Best prospects left off the 40-man are Holt, Soto, Packer, and probably Monsalve. Washington is a good prospect too, but see no way he is picked, and even if he were, he won't stick over a 162-game MLB season.
November 21, 2013 - 9:04 AM EST
Nobody is going to take LeVon would they?
November 21, 2013 - 9:02 AM EST
Who is the best prospect left off the 40 man that is exposed to the rule 5 draft now?
November 20, 2013 - 10:55 PM EST
I guess I was more surprised they protected two RH relievers than I was about Gonzalez. Inexpensive UTs are easy to stash and the Indians believe he is ML capable. The relievers and the Murphy signing indicate to me there are some trading chips but fewer FA signings. Additional cuts to the 40 look easy to me.
November 20, 2013 - 9:21 PM EST
I would think Gonzalez would be a prime suspect to be drafted. Teams like MIF / UTL type guys (and BP arms) like Gonzalez with positional flexibility - that they can stash on the bench and utilize in a variety of roles. Just speculation, but maybe the Tribe wanted to 'fortify' the SS position in case they make a trade or two from their depth in the middle of the diamond.
November 20, 2013 - 8:35 PM EST
Gonzalez was a guy I listed on Monday as definitely in consideration.....but I felt he would ultimately not be added because the Indians could maybe get him through unselected. Apparently, his showing so far in the Dominican winter league has opened some eyes and the Indians were getting wind that he could be a selection. I know they were very excited about his progress this year, so much so, that they have him tabbed as the starting shortstop at Carolina to open the season. He's a clear step down from some of their other middle infield prospects, but he has some upside and tools for sure.
November 20, 2013 - 8:16 PM EST
Salazar could have been used as a long reliever/7th guy out of the bullpen two years ago, Gonzalez would be harder to stash. The front office must be extremely high on Gonzalez to protect him; if he pans out, our middle infield depth will be tremendous.
November 20, 2013 - 8:15 PM EST
Yeah...the same things were said about Salazar, but for very...very different reasons...
November 20, 2013 - 7:51 PM EST
I hear what everyone is saying about Gonzalez but the same things were said about Danny Salazar two years ago. Just saying.
November 20, 2013 - 5:44 PM EST
Gonzalez makes zero sense.
November 20, 2013 - 4:55 PM EST
Did the Indians decide on protecting Price and Gonzalez based on the year they had 13 or based on there success they are currently having in winter ball?

I think Carson should be DFA when Murphy is officially signed. I understand why Phelps was DFA, he never hit in majors when he did get his shot. His future is probably in another organization.
November 20, 2013 - 4:55 PM EST
tony, you had most of the additions right the other day, i however would not have added gonzalez no one is gonna grab him and keep him all year. This is not like TJMaxx or rondon they were both above AA where as only at A+ he wont get picked up and kept on roster entire year. i wouldnt add any of the players you referenced the other day, i would leave the roster spot open for now. As for matt carson he i would DFA as soon as possible. at 30+ he isnt likely to be significant addition and with murph the of situation is deeper

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