Indians sign Gavin Floyd to one year deal
The Cleveland Indians have signed free agent right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd to a one-year $4 million deal for the 2015 season. The deal also includes an additional $6 million in performance bonuses tied to the number or starts he makes and innings he pitches next season.
Floyd, 31, owns a career Major League record of 72-72 with a 4.40 ERA in 208 appearances/196 starts with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves. He posted double-digit victories while making at least 29 starts with the White Sox over five consecutive seasons from 2008-12, finishing 10th in the American League in innings pitched (206.1) with a career-high 17 wins in 2008. He was the fourth overall pick of the first round in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft by the Phillies and was eventually traded to the White Sox prior to the 2007 campaign, where he spent seven seasons pitching in the American League Central Division.
In 2013, Floyd was limited to five starts in his final season in Chicago due to reconstructive right elbow surgery that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He returned last season and only made nine starts starts and posted a 2.65 ERA (54.1 IP, 55 H, 16 ER, 13 BB, 45 K) with the Atlanta Braves before his season ended on June 19th because of a right elbow fracture.
GM Chris Antonetti informed media members on Tuesday that Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Floyd all have spot in the rotation for 2015. He said Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister, T.J. House and Josh Tomlin will battle for the fifth and final spot. All of them have minor league options remaining except McAllister. Salazar used all three of his options, but the club was awarded a fourth option year because he has just four professional seasons with at least 90 days on the active roster.
The Indians had been seeking out depth options for the rotation this offseason. The move is somewhat of a surprise as it guarantees him a spot in the opening day rotation, which means if there are no injuries this spring that one of Salazar or House - if not both - are ticketed to open the 2015 season at Triple-A Columbus.
It is a low cost to pay to see if Floyd rebounds and can be the solid rotation arm he was with the White Sox, and if the gamble does not work out then it is just $3.5 million the Indians will have eaten ($500K would be paid to someone anyway). If that happens they should have a few good options to pick from with whichever one of House or Bauer is in Columbus along with Zach McAllister and Josh Tomlin.
One thing to note is this is not a similar situation to Scott Kazmir two years ago. Kazmir signed a minor league deal with no roster or money guarantee. The deal for Floyd places him on the 25-man roster right now and the $4 million is guaranteed.
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.
@Homer Pass on Wilson, i'd rather give good guaranteed money to Casey Janssen, Rafael Soriano, or Francisco Rodriguez than take a flier on Axford part deux. Wilson was terrible in a pitcher's park, in the weaker offensive league, no thanks, he's done. I'd bet Pestano has better numbers than him next year.
$500K isn't much for a potential bullpen arm with closing ability. Worth a flier IMHO.
Wilson is available for almost free, as the Dodgers are on the hook for his 9.5 MM salary. Unfortunately, the Dodgers DFAd him for a reason, which is the same reason he shouldn't be pitching in Cleveland.
There's three, maybe four that might interest the Indians...
And a cpl of others...Sergio Romo, and Joba Chamberlain that could help out.
The Tribe reportedly had some interest in Wilson last yr, he should clear DFA waivers and sign for major league minimum. He will get paid $9.5M by the Dodgers to pitch elsewhere next season. Might be a reunion with SF in his future.
Outside of Jung Ho Kang there doesn't seem to be many useful bats left, unless, they could land one in a trade. So fortifying the bullpen maybe the next step.
I like the fact the Indians have so many arms (I hope they are able to keep Maronde) and a guy like Marcum may be forced to AAA or out of the org. for opportunity....it shows there is depth above him. Id still like to see the Indians pickup some SP prospects if possible. Maybe the Indians could get one in a deal for so omens like Murphy or another young OF/IF.
CA went into the offseason with the objective of adding some power - he's done that (Moss). Then, he suggested SP depth - he's done that (Floyd, Brewer, resigned Marcum). And he suggested a RH/SH bat - he's (partially) done that (Sands, Hood). Plus, he's added depth to BP by virtue of the SP additions.
The Indians have had a relatively quiet offseason with two major additions (Moss, Floyd), but it's not like this club needed that much. I think they could still have a few moves coming perhaps a trade of an OF, and possibly the pickup of a veteran bullpen arm.
And yes I'm assuming McAllister is going to the bullpen (fastball plays up there and he has no second pitch) and Tomlin goes to AAA (though he could be more effective being a year removed from TJ surgery).
I respect your viewpoint on CC Lee, but still think he's done enough in the minors in terms of H/IP and K/IP where success at the ML level isn't out of the question- he doesn't have a whole lot of experience, and unless he's lost velocity on the fastball from TJ Surgery (think he had that), he was throwing low to mid-90s with his fastball in the not too distant past, plus had a decent breaking ball from the reports I heard that was especially effective against RHHs. His numbers in the Minors were definitely above average, and while he was "old" for each league because he was a later-than-average age sign, I still don't think he's had enough ML experience to even adapt- thus why I wouldn't write him off yet. If he serves as depth in Columbus and finds consistency, I still think he can factor into the mix with guys like Price (if he's still here), Adams, Sturdevant, Soto to fill the long-man role or a 6th-7th inning role.
ZMac would be the other option I'd consider for the 8th inning if they want to take him out of the starter mix. I don't think they want to leave ZMac in the world of "is he a starter or is he a reliever"- I think they'd want to resolve that question as soon as possible, and all indications seem to suggest he'll be in the mix for the fifth starter spot.
We all know how fragile Salazar's right arm is and with how careful the tribe have been with him there is no way they would try some 2 to 3 week conversion if someone gets hurt like CL suggests. The only reason Carrasco was put in the pen is that he was a head case and that was his last chance to prove he was useful. Luckily he proved himself, but that's not the desired career path, that's a resurrection.
Personally, I would rather have Salazar closing on the MLB team than starting in Columbus. He has no value at the major league level in Columbus, but a great deal of value closing (or relieving in general, if that's how it turns out) at the major league level. If someone gets hurt, or struggles.....Salazar could be stretched out in 2 to 3 weeks to go 7, right? Heck, even as a starter he's going 5 2/3 so not much stretching would be required.
At this point, he has a pretty good curve ball, a powerful fast ball, and little else. For this reason, the concept of him in the pen is not so unusual at all, because pen pitchers often have few pitches. Now, if Salazar perfects the curve and starts to bring a solid or better change up, then he will have much more success in the rotation, and all talk of him in the pen will stop.
Your posting about Salazar is true.. he's a bona fide ML SP.. and should be considered for starting only to begin the 2015 season
Hagadone hasn't earn 8th inning work yet.. he has the size and stuff to be successful.. just not enough track record.. Same thing with Zach McAllister.. he has the size and the stuff to be a stalwart in the back of the pen.. His value as a starter hasn't been completely depleted, so, I'd assume the Indians will give Z-Mac every opportunity to regain a spot in the rotation.. and yes.. that could mean no spot for Floyd..or Marcum..or Tomlin or House.. or someone.. It could also mean a trade is in the works..
Could someone please clarify, since the article said one time Salazar would be part of the battle for the fifth spot and Bauer was mentioned another time- who else besides Kluber and Carrasco has a spot locked up in the rotation? Salazar or Bauer? Thanks.
Which brings me to Lee. I also find it surprising that you're already considering Lee a bust based on, what, 45 total appearances in baseball, 37 last year, covering 28 IP, giving up 30 hits, walking 12, striking out 26, largely in a mop-up role for the most part? He was like the Jesus Aguilar of pitching- he didn't even get in enough work to get into any type of rhythm, sitting for many games at a time, not to mention it was his first extended time at the ML level. Just casting him off and saying he's not ML material is a little premature. Granted, if the Indians lost him, they'd be fine in all likelihood, but to claim that he's done based on what we saw last year?
Definitely an overreaction in my opinion, much like Salazar has to be turned into a reliever now. If Jose Mesa got that much chance to be a starter (and he never looked as good as a starter as Salazar has), you can bet that the Indians are going to keep Salazar as a starter, possibly for another year or even two, since his value as a mid- to front-line starter is much more valuable than as a closer. He can always be turned into a reliever down the line if the starter experiment fails, but we are still a good distance away from that, especially with what Salazar has shown as a starter to this point.
Personally, I'd like to see Hagadone (another guy who has taken a while to develop, and who was also given several years as a starter, and he never looked as good as Salazar as a starter either) back up Allen and give the Indians another option as a closer if Allen falters or is injured. In fact, if the Indians don't acquire another proven reliever, I'd like to see
I think Shaw fits better in the 7th inning, Hagadone has the stuff to fit in the back-end of the pen against lefties AND righties, and you have the R-L-R combination at the end, making it harder for opposing managers to match up on one side, forcing them to have to use their bench and depth more.
Plus, I have no issue with three lefties in the pen (a topic that was brought up here recently)- that is a strength in my view, not a weakness, and especially when you have 4-5 right-handed starters in your rotation. The '95 Indians had three lefties in their pen, and it was one of the better pens in baseball, so having three lefties can work.
Sounds like this Wil Myers to SD may be a bit bigger of a deal than anticipated. Jeff Passan hinting these parts involved will be moving on to other clubs.
Wild speculation on my part but Myers might be the bat headed to Seattle for Walker or Paxton, with the Pads in turn flipping one to the Braves for Upton. Sounds like it might be a day or two for everything to be sorted out, but if the Padres do acq. a OF they will likely trade Seth Smith, who I suspect could be involved in all of this speculation somehow.
I wouldn't mind seeing the Tribe pickup Wil Myers, but it seems the cost would be prohibitive for the Tribe. Another Rays player (beside Zobrist) I think could be a useful add would be Desmond Jennings. He would not fit the Tribe, but he is a RH bat that's controllable and affordable.
Justin Upton actually makes a lot of sense on paper for us. I think we could put together a desirable package that wouldn't cripple us now or in the future. However, we are on his no trade list, so I want bother dreaming on that one.
You know that for a fact?
Funny, how you waited until after Maronde was DFA to "predict" it. Just saying.
CC Lee's repertoire is not ML level.. his FB is a foot short.. his side arm delivery in not nearly deceptive enough and he's going to continue to get KILLED..Austin Adams..even with his poor numbers (for twelve pitches, or whatever) is a MUCH better RP Option for the Indians than CC Lee.. The Indians would do well to move him to some other team...
Agreed, Brewer and Maronde could be DFA, as well as any of...CCLee, Holt, and Moncrief.
Re: Varvaro, I mentioned him in several trade suggestions w/ Upton. He's a solid RHRP, Murphy could help the Bravos fill RF/LF in the likelihood of JUp trade.
I think it's also incorrect to say Salazar can't "develop as a starter" while pitching out of the bullpen. See: Carlos Carrasco. And pretty much every good Cardinals starter.
This doesn't seem like a LOT of high end prospects for a guy that is clearly a gem that can be had for RH RF'er that is young and promises a LOT...
@ Salazar to the Pen Aficionados... not until he proves he cannot be an SP.. Going into the 2015 season, he'll be an SP.. only..
@ McAllister to the Pen/Mafia.. Can that revival of a bad idea end.. Bullpen Mafia just seems like it should have been concluded when Chris Perez departed..
Mariners pursuit of a hitter.. MLB TR has something on that..
What's the difference between Floyd and Marcum other than cost? Marcum even has better career ERA/FIP stats, both are injury risks/gambles. One cost nothing, the other 4mil and gets a guaranteed roster spot. Strange move, but will wait and see what other trades might be up
I think Brewer is as much at risk as Maronde now, maybe CC Lee or Holt too
Some intriguing prospects from....
Seattle....Comp B rd 2 pk, Luiz Gohara, Victor Sanchez, Tyler Pike, and sidearmer Carson Smith - he'd require a 40 spot they need to open for Floyd.
Texas....Alec Asher, Marcos Diplan, Ryan Rua and Corey Knebel - both need a 40 man spot.
Baltimore....Comp B rd 2 pk, Zach Davies, Tyler Wilson, Stephen Tarpley, and Jon Keller
Going into last year "SALAZAR FUTURE ACE OF ACE'S"
This year "SALAZAR LIMITED UPSIDE FUTURE RELIEVER"
It's fine really, everyone sees things differently. Players develop over time and I see nothing to tell me he can't be an effective starter moving forward.
I'm not committing Salazar to the bullpen right now. Gonna take a lot for me to be convinced of that.
Wanna move him to the pen without acknowledging Carlos Carrasco could easily regress into DFA territory?
Antonetti stated that McAlister,Tomlin ,Salazar and House were going into spring training competing for the 5th starter spot.
Tomlin and House have options left,the other two don't so I don't see it being much of a competition.
Should they trade Tomlin (and his project $1.7M salary) to free some funds.
I think the Shaun Marcum deal could be a scenario where he ends up going elsewhere and reviving his career much like Aaron Harang last season.
It would be interesting to see what a package of a starter, David Murphy and perhaps even Lonnie could bring back..
I'm calling Floyd.
It looks like McAllister could become a permanent member of the bullpen mafia, can't say I'm disappointed.
just kidding. It seems likely the Indians are comfortable with adding Floyd, but also indicates that the Ind and probably have a deal in place that clears a roster space for Floyd.
I'm a bit mixed on him this time around, if they were going to add a guy, I would have preferred Jake Peavy, but it seems he may be out of their price range.