Should the Cleveland Indians Exercise Ryan Raburn’s 2016 Option?

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Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Is Ryan Raburn in the Cleveland Indians’ 2016 Plans?

Ryan Raburn was horrible in 2014 for the Cleveland Indians. There’s just no other way to put it.  He hit just .200 with a .547 OPS and 54 wRC+ in 212 plate appearances.  Even uglier was his -1.3 fWAR in 74 games.  Quite simply, he was a waste of a roster spot and cries for him to be cut echoed loudly most of the second half of the season and into the winter. 

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However, thanks to signing a two-year extension at the end of the 2013 season, Raburn was guaranteed $2.5M in 2015, thus he remained on the roster all winter and made the big league club out of spring training.  Many wondered how short a leash he had and how long it’d be before he was cut. After all, his contract was up after the 2015 season save for a $100K buyout.  There was no way his $3M team option would be picked up for 2016…right? Well…

2015 better than 2013?

Many considered 2013 to be a “career year” for Ryan Raburn and for good reason. He posted his highest single season OPS (.901), wRC+ (149), wOBA (.389), ISO (.272), and fWAR (2.4).  He also tied a career high with 16 home runs and had the second highest OBP of his career (.357).  However, Raburn is currently besting many of those numbers this season.  Here’s a quick look at his 2013 vs 2015 seasons:

While it’s been very close, one could easily call Raburn’s 2015 season even better than his 2013 season, at least offensively.  Higher OBP, OPS, and wRC+ this season.  The home run power has been down a bit but he’s actually getting more extra-base hits this season than last (once every 6.5 AB this year vs once every 7.1 AB in 2013).

Next: Strictly a Platoon Bat?

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