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Cleveland Indians: Tribe bolster their bullpen with a big splash

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(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians have officially made it clear that they are going all in on another postseason run as they trade for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber.

If you thought you would have to wait for the trade deadline for a big splash from the Cleveland Indians, they have proven you wrong today. This morning the Indians went out to get their big fish in the form of Brad Hand. The Tribe acquired Brad Hand and Adam Cimber in exchange for their top prospect, Francisco Mejia.

It’s obviously a huge move for the Cleveland Indians. Their bullpen has been an albatross holding the team back for much of this season. The Indians realized that if they want to contend with the big guns in the American League, they would have to address their biggest weakness.

Brad Hand is a two-time All-Star with a career high 24 saves this season at just the halfway point. He has a 3.03 ERA and is on pace to break his career strikeout record. Hand has been an effective closer for the Padres and it’ll be interesting to see how the Indians utilize the lefty.

Obviously they still await the return of Andrew Miller (who is pitching in a rehab assignment tonight), but there is still Cody Allen in the closer role. Will the Indians move their roles around given Allen’s recent struggles? Perhaps Hand will assume the role Bryan Shaw held last season.

There is also the addition of Adam Cimber. This is Cimber’s rookie yearend he has a 3.17 ERA with 51 strikeouts through 42 games. He’s been a gem for the Padres and will be under Indians control for a long time.

A big part of this trade is the departure of Francisco Mejia. Mejia was the Cleveland Indians’ top prospect and had made MLB appearances this year. There has been controversy over Mejia’s usage and wether or not he should play his preferred catcher role or play in the outfield. The Indians saw fit to let him go to a young team where he can get his Major League reps.

The beauty of this trade is that both Hand and Cimber will be under team control through 2021, that’s a big boost for a team that could lose both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen after this year. It’s nice to see the Indians plan for the future.

Next: Looking ahead to the second half of the Indians season

This trade means we could see a completely different bullpen. It’s already been announced that Adam Plutko will be moved to Triple-A Columbus to make room, and that more moves will be made before Friday’s game against Texas. Needless to say the second half of 2018 could look very different.

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