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Indians officially sign Myers, designate Canzler

Indians officially sign Myers, designate Canzler
January 4, 2013
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Free agent right-handed pitcher Brett Myers passed his physical this morning and the Indians officially announced his signing today. He has been signed to a one year $7 million deal and has a club option for 2014 that will pay him $8 million if the Indians pick it up after the season.

Myers split last season between Houston and the Chicago White Sox where he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen and had a 3.31 ERA with 19 saves in 70 appearances (65.1IP, 65H, 15BB, 41K).  In his 11-year Major League career he has a record of 97-93 with 40 saves and a 4.20 ERA in 377 games (249 starts).  He has recorded double-digit win seasons six times and topped the 200.0-inning plateau during three campaigns.  He recently eclipsed the 200.0-inning barrier with Houston in both 2010 and ‘11, going 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA (career-high 223.2IP, 212H, 78ER, 180K) in 2010.

In seven seasons Myers has exclusively been a starter he has averaged over 200 innings pitched and has remained durable over his career.  He brings some leadership, energy and stability to an Indians starting rotation that was in dire need of those qualities last year. He won't be a dominating starter, but he is expected to come in and eat innings, put up quality starts, and compete every time out.

Myers is expected to slide into the third spot in the rotation behind Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez.. Zach McAllister has a leg up for the fourth spot, and the fifth and final spot will come down to Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, David Huff, Carlos Carrasco, and Scott Kazmir - though Bauer probably has a leg up over all of those candidates for the final spot.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Indians have reportedly designated first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler for assignment. Reports also say that the Yankees have claimed Canzler. The Indians reclaimed Canzler off waivers on Wednesday, but it was felt that his stay on the roster would be short and that he could be a candidate to be removed for the signings of Nick Swisher or Myers.

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

January 5, 2013 - 2:13 AM EST
Actually, Chip, the better option for DH may be Yan Gomes. I am unsure why all the hub bub for Canzler. Solid depth guy, but in all honesty, a marginal Major Leaguer. No defense, lots of Ks, but some power. Pretty much another Shelley Duncan type at best.

Also, remember, the Indians more clearly need a switch-hitting or lefty hitting 4th outfielder to complement Stubbs who they will sit against tough righties. This is why Canzler and Neal were expendable and why Carrera was kept. Carrera has more value than Canzler I am afraid because he can do so much more and is not much of a dropoff offensively. And McGuiness/McDade could factor into that DH/LF situation since one is a switch-hitter and the other a lefty.
January 5, 2013 - 1:23 AM EST
So who's the better option for rotating between DH/1b/LF than Canzler? With Stubbs and Brantley we don't need Carrera. He should have been DFA'd instead of Canzler IMO. McGiness is a lefty but the lineup is more balanced now. I understand why they tried to sneak him through waivers again, but I don't understand why they thought he wouldn't be claimed. I bet if the Yankees DFA him, he gets claimed yet again. The guy is not a bad hitter and has power.
January 4, 2013 - 6:41 PM EST
I appreciate the help with the DFA rules from both of you. Maybe it makes more sense. It makes the Gomez situation clearer as well. Given a choice of who to lose, I would much rather have Gomez clear waivers rather than rather than Canzler but that is just wishful thinking. I know Neal is popular with some IBI people and some posters but he is not a great loss in my scheme of things.
Joe Chengery
January 4, 2013 - 4:56 PM EST
In following the Indians for approximately 25 years, I can't think of another player who has been

Designated for assignment/waived 3 times
On the active roster of 3 different teams
Within a span of 3 weeks.

While I agree it's not a major loss, Canzler has to feel a bit like a "yo-yo" of sorts at this point, probably wondering if he's done with the DFAs or not (there are, what, 6 more weeks left in the offseason, not to mention Spring Training).
January 4, 2013 - 4:43 PM EST
Canzler pickup was simply an attempt to work a guy through waivers. Gomez was gone all along for Myers, so they tried to pick up Canzler.....slip him through waivers.....and then outright him to AAA. Remember, a guy can be DFAed 100 times but if he keeps getting claimed, it he has yet to be outrighted. It is AFTER a guy clears waivers and is outrighted, that the NEXT time a guy s DFAed and clears waivers he can decline and become a free agent. Canzler would have had to accept an outright assignment by the Indians if he cleared waivers.
January 4, 2013 - 4:37 PM EST
This Canzler stuff was an exercise in futility IMO. I suppose it was worth a try but the reward would have been so marginal it seems senseless. Canzler is a FA if he clears anyway from what I understand since DFA twice. Ultimately, it makes little difference to the quality of the ML roster from what I see.

I am guessing the Indians have a plan in place for the pitching otherwise they would not have let Gomez go. I don't think the plan involves Kluber, Huff and Kazmir to be candid since those three are likely inferior to Gomez. I think your speculation is correct about Bauer in this plan and Carrasco is sent out to control his innings. IF Carrasco is fully recovered, he can replace any of the five starters IMO.

Good coverage of the off-season moves Tony. I hope they have one more surprise in store but doubt it will be another FA. I do not see them rushing a trade but have to believe the RHRP depth can be utilized.

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