The Cleveland Indians will be faced with plenty of hard choices this offseason, but none may be tough than decided if they should keep Miller or Allen.
Andrew Miller and Cody Allen; the duo has been a staple of the Cleveland Indians bullpen since 2016. They’ve had their shining moments, and their ungodly collapses at times. They make us cheer like crazy and want to pull our hair out at times.
Now there is a chance that we won’t see either in an Indians uniform next year. While there is the chance that both will depart for the green pastures of free agency, there’s still a chance that the Indians will hold onto one of these guys.
There are pros and cons to consider when hanging on to either reliever. We take a look at how the good may outweigh the bad with the pair of relievers.
Why Cody Allen?
Cody Allen has been with the Cleveland Indians big league team since his call-up in 2012. He’s been the closer for the team since Terry Francona took over as skipper. His ability to rack up saves has been a godsend for the Indians. Even when it feels like he blows so many games, he’s been fairly good at keeping his blown saves in the single-digits.
2018 was arguably the toughest year of his career, however. His ERA shot above 4.00 for the first time in his career and his saves went on a decline from 2017. That’s not what you want on a contract year, and it caused the Tribe to go after closer Brad Hand. Hand and Allen rotated on the closer role until the end of the season when Hand seemingly took over the spot.
So with the fact that Brad Hand looks like the new closer, why keep Cody Allen? Well, he’s been ole’ reliable for the Indians bullpen since his rookie year. Getting rid of him wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would certainly feel weird.
Perhaps if his asking price lowers after a tough season, the Indians will still look to keep him around. The other factor is that Allen has proven to be much more healthy between the two. Health has been a key factor for the Indians in recent years. If the health of Andrew Miller is a risk they don’t want to take, Cody Allen is the obvious choice.
Why Andrew Miller?
In a trade that shook the baseball landscape in 2016, the Cleveland Indians acquired Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees. He made an immediate impact for the Indians and helped jettison them to the 2016 World Series. He had an unbelievable postseason that year for the Tribe.
2018 was a tough year for Miller as well. For one, he couldn’t stay healthy. Miller found himself on the disabled list three times this last season. When he was healthy, he wasn’t playing very well either. His ERA was the highest it’s been since becoming a reliever at 4.24 and aside from the end of the season, he wasn’t effective at all. He accumulated three blown saves this year, the most in his career.
Miller may come at a much cheaper price than expected due to health and performance issues. Whether the two or correlated remains to be seen. If the Indians are going to keep him around, they will have to be sure that they are willing to take that chance on his health. Even still, another team may simply offer him more.
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Andrew Miller has really made himself at home in Cleveland, but baseball is a business. Part of that business is making these tough decisions. There is a good chance that the Indians call it quits on both players, but obviously, we’d like to see one of these guys stick around. Whoever it is, fans should be sure to give them the support they need to get back out there and turn things around.