Cleveland Indians Non-Tender Reliever Jeff Manship

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Indians tendered eight of their nine arbitration eligible players contracts Friday. Jeff Manship was the only player to not receive a contract.

The Cleveland Indians tendered eight of their nine arbitration eligible players contracts on Friday but decided not to do so with reliever Jeff Manship, making him a free agent.  The Indians did tender contracts to the following players: Cody Allen, Trevor Bauer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Guyer, Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, Danny Salazar, and Bryan Shaw.

Many expected the Cleveland Indians to tender contracts to all nine of their arbitration-eligible players, but the Indians decided that Manship was worth letting go. The right-handed reliever spent the last two seasons in the Indians’ organization, joining the team before the 2015 season as a minor league free agent and non-roster invitee to Spring Training.

He did not make the team out of camp but eventually got called up and enjoyed the best season of his career posting a minuscule 0.97 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 39 1/3 innings. He pitched well enough that the Indians tendered the arbitration-eligible reliever a contract for 2016.

Unfortunately, 2016 wasn’t as lucrative for Manship and the Indians as 2015 was. His 3.12 ERA wasn’t bad but he posted a 1.43 WHIP along with a very ugly 5.11 FIP (fielding independent pitching). He struck out batters nearly the same (7.6 K/9 vs 7.5) but his walk rate doubled from 2.3 BB/9 in 2015 to 4.6 this past season.

Despite only looking at a modest $1.2 million salary the Indians felt it best to move on now. There’s still a chance the Indians could bring him back on a minor league deal if he can’t find a big league deal elsewhere.

The rest of the eight arbitration-eligible players were all virtual locks to be tendered. Of the eight, only Bryan Shaw will be entering his final season of arbitration while a pair of “Super Two” players will be entering their first in Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar. The two young starters have yet to reach three years of major league service time; however, both easily eclipsed the Super Two limit, meaning both will go to arbitration four times assuming neither is non-tendered or extended in the future.

All told the Indians are looking at around $28 million in arbitration salaries for the 2017 season between these eight players. The Indians have several weeks to work out deals with these players before having to go to an arbitration hearing. The Indians rarely do this, having gone to hearings just twice in the last 25 years. The Tribe’s 40-man roster now stands at 38.

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So what do you think of today’s roster decisions? Should the Indians have tendered Manship as well or was it the right call? Should any of the other eight have been non-tendered as well? Let us know in the comments below.

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