Instead the Indians could look to trade Hand while his value remains high.
Some fans despised Hand when he didn’t have that bad of a 2019 season. He was an All Star, for what it’s worth.
He made 60 appearances, picking up 34 saves and only being on the record for four losses. That number is not ideal, yet it is inevitable for closers to have at least a few losses every season.
The attractive thing about Hand’s value is that he is only owed $7 million in 2020. That is followed by a $10 million club option in 2021. Consider the fact Craig Kimbrel is owed $16 million in 2020 and Hand looks like a huge bargain in the closer market.
Indians fans were hoping Hand would come in and be the new 2016 version of Andrew Miller out of the bullpen. We all quickly found out how rare Miller’s performance was that year. At the same time it has been hard for Hand to show how dominant he can be in October when the Indians have not made a deep run with him in town.
Hand’s contract should have 2020 contenders talking to the Indians often this offseason about a trade. The Indians have all the leverage in the situation and can wait for great offers to roll in. The alternative is waiting until the trade deadline for a new reliable high-leverage bullpen arm to emerge in order to make the trade easier on the team.
Dumping $7 million in salary isn’t an urgent move but it could free up money to add several bullpen arms for 2020. If both Hand and Kluber were traded it would make for quite the offseason storylines featuring some panic and some doom.