Cleveland Indians Have Several Left-Handed Relief Options To Consider

Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Trade Market

If the Cleveland Indians decide the free agent market is too rich for their blood, they could turn to the trade market once again to add a left-handed reliever. The Tribe showed no shyness in going out and getting Miller and while I do not see them going that big again they could still add a solid lefty through a trade. What players are available or could be had isn’t as easy to nail down as the free agents but here are a couple that I feel could possibly be had for the right price.

Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres is a guy I’d love to see in a Tribe uniform.  A former starter with the Miami Marlins, Hand worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the first time in 2016 and led the league with 82 appearances. He posted an excellent 1.6 fWAR to go along with a 2.92 ERA and 3.07 FIP. He also struck out over 11 per nine innings, outstanding for a guy that threw 89 1/3 innings.

He was nearly unhittable against left-handed hitters as well, posting a 0.83 WHIP and holding them to a .124 batting average. That batting average against was the lowest against left-handed hitters among all pitchers in 2016 (minimum 20 innings against lefties). He also struck out one-third of lefties he faced, which was 12th best in baseball.

Also working in Hand’s favor is that he has three years of team control remaining. He agreed to a one-year, $1.38 million deal to avoid arbitration this winter. That salary would fit on any club and has to look extremely tantalizing for a club like the Indians. The years of control, though, are almost certainly going to make him a very tough player to pry from the Padres.

San Diego is a team that looks to be in more of a rebuild mode than most teams so perhaps they would still be willing to move the reliever, but it could take an elite prospect to land him, something the Indians may not want to do after moving two for Miller last summer.

More from Away Back Gone

Sean Doolittle of the Oakland Athletics is a name that’s been around for a while, but he’s a guy that has dealt with injuries the last couple of years. Like Hand, he is under control beyond 2017 as he is set to make $2.63 million in 2017 with a pair of options for 2018 and 2019. When healthy he’s a very dominant reliever who has closers experience. He threw 39 innings in 2016 striking over 10 per nine innings while walking less than two.

Shoulder injuries are always scary but if he remains healthy he’s an elite reliever. The A’s are a team that looks destined to finish in the cellar so they could move on from Doolittle though the options mean they could wait.

A few others that could maybe be had are Dan Jennings of the White Sox, Xavier Cedeno of the Rays, and Ian Krol of the Braves. The White Sox and Rays have both dealt away players this offseason, with Chicago going into full rebuild mode so it would not be surprising if Jennings was moved. The Rays are always looking to get value for players as they hit arbitration so perhaps Cedeno is an option.