June 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Nick Hagadone (50) pitches in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Indians Gain Additional Option on Nick Hagadone
Another strange chapter in the history of the Cleveland Indians has finally come to an end. The Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball have come to an agreement and settled a grievance filed on behalf of Indians reliever, Nick Hagadone.
The grievance was filed by the Players Association after an incident that occurred all the way back during the 2012 season. If you recall, Hagadone broke a bone in his left arm. He broke the bone when he slammed a clubhouse door after a poor performance against the Rays. The injury required surgery and Hagadone missed a significant amount of time recovering.
However, instead of placing Hagadone on the disabled list, the Indians optioned him to Columbus and placed him on the disqualified list. While on the disqualified list, Hagadone did not receive pay. And there in lied the problem. Mess with the union and a player’s salary and the full force of their wrath shall rain down upon you. The union argued that Hagadone should have been placed on the DL and still been eligible to receive his Major League salary.
In the end, the settlement favored Hagadone. As a result, he will be compensated for the time spent on the disqualified list. In addition, Hagadone will also receive credit towards his Major League service time. What was one year and 33 days has now been pushed to one year and 127 days.
However, the Indians didn’t get completely fleeced on the deal. While Hagadone will be compensated both monetarily and with service time, the Indians will be granted an option for Hagadone. This is significant because prior to the decision Hagadone had been out of options. As a result they has more flexibility than they had prior to the settlement.
Without any options, Hagadone would have had to clear waivers in order to be sent down to triple-A is he didn’t make the big league roster out of camp. Yes, Hagadone has struggled in recent years, especially with his command, but it is unlikely that he would have cleared waivers without a claim being place by another team. His arm is just too lively and has too much potential. With the extra option, the Indians have more flexibility with the roster construction.
Like Carlos Carrasco, it is likely that Hagadone would have made the Indians Opening Day roster by default. Without the ability to send Hagadone to triple-A unimpeded, they wouldn’t have had a choice. Either place him on the roster and hope for the best, or risk losing him. And while it still seems likely that Hagadone could win a spot in the bullpen thanks to this off-season’s defections, the Indians can still store him away in triple-A in case of an emergency. Given the constant state of flux that a bullpen can ultimately become, this tiny bit of added flexibility could come in handy.
Also lost in all of this is the state of Nick Hagadone’s career. Needless to say, it hasn’t been going well. Hagadone has struggled mightily over the past two seasons. While the velocity and movement is still there, he just hasn’t been able to harness it in an effective manner. Perhaps this ongoing grievance has been weighing on his mind. Maybe now that is has come to a conclusion he can focus once again on pitching and become what the Indians have long believed he could be – a dominant left-handed reliever.