Sep 28, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (35) throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Rzepczynski Agrees to One-Year Deal
Another domino fell on Friday as the Indians 2014 roster continues to take shape. This time one of the key cogs in the bullpen was locked up for the upcoming season. I guess you could call this one a triple word score.
Lefty specialist Marc Rzepczynski agreed with the Indians on a one-year contract worth a reported $1.375-million. The slight raise from the $1.1-million he earned from the Cardinals in 2013 will pair him up with Josh Outman, the other pitcher to come to terms to avoid arbitration this week, as the dueling lefties in the Indians pen this season.
The one-year agreement works well for both sides. For Rzepczynski, the contract gives him employment for yet another season and all but guarantees him a spot on the Indians big league roster. After the ups and downs from the past year, I’m sure that is a warranted change for the man known as “Scrabble.”
For the Indians, Rzepczynski agreeing to the one-year deal gives them a second lefty in their pen for the 2014 season. Along with Outman, they now have a dynamic pair of left handed relievers. Outman will more than likely serves as the team’s primary lefty specialist while Rzepczynski will get a chance at more extended relief opportunities against both lefties and righties.
Rzepczynski’s signing also keeps the Indians one step further away from going to arbitration. Typically arbitration cases tend to favor the player, resulting in a raise that might not have been within the team’s budget or monetary expectations for that player. By avoiding arbitration, the Indians were able to better fit Outman and Rzepczynski within the confines of their own budget for 2014.
However, they still have a long way to go. As it currently stands, the Indians have only come to terms with two of their six arbitration eligible players.
The Indians still need to come to terms with Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin, who should be easy to come to terms with without arbitration being involved, and Michael Brantley and Justin Masterson, both of which could prove to be much more difficult to come to terms with. Brantley is in line for a substantial raise and may be looking to lock up a multi-year extension while Masterson is one year away from free agency and a potentially massive payday. How these two decisions play out will go a long way in helping shape the future of the team in 2014 and beyond.