The Cleveland Indians made several roster moves Monday and one in particular sees a former All-Star finally let go into free agency.
He was an All-Star in 2016 and was one of the best pitchers in the league. Then came the injuries.
He was relegated to the bullpen in the 2016 World Series and the same was true in the 2017 ALDS. Following that he missed the entire 2018 season and proceeded to make one start in 2019. He could barely get through an inning he was in so much pain.
Salazar made nearly $10 million combined the past two years so it only made sense for the Indians to finally move on. He was essentially being paid for past performance as he sat out the last two seasons.
The crazy thing is that Salazar is only 29 years old and could still end up returning if he takes time to get fully healthy.
But the player in focus is obviously Salazar. He started the 2013 Wild Card Game as a rookie and did enough to help his team win. Sticking with a decade-long theme the offense failed to give him much help.
His health is a major “what if?” for Indians fans when it comes to the success of the team over the past few years. If the team had a fully healthy rotation for a full year maybe things would have been different.
Salazar is still young so I imagine some team will give him a chance on a small deal just to see if he can get back to his old ways. A big market team would not even blink about handing out a few million dollars to someone with so much potential.
I am rooting for him but I have to admit it will kill me inside if he becomes dominant again for an American League foe.