Indians offseason outlook: Bullpen

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The Cleveland Indians head into the 2018 offseason with the majority of their bullpen intact from the 2017 season. As with the starting rotation the Indians bullpen is one of the strengths of the team. Let’s take a look at how the bullpen breaks down heading into the offseason.

Free agents

– Bryan Shaw (4-6, 3.52)

The lone bullpen free agent is Bryan Shaw. He has been a key part of the Indians bullpen for the past five seasons. He lead the league in appearances in three of those seasons. Shaw posted his highest ERA (3.52) of his Indians career in 2017. He stands to make big money on the open market and is doubtful to return to Cleveland in 2018.

– Joe Smith (3-0, 3.33)

The Indians acquired Joe Smith from Toronto on July 31st, 2017 for to minor leaguers. Smith became a big part of the Indians bullpen down the stretch posting a 3.44 ERA in 21 appearances in his second stint with Cleveland. The Indians would love to have Smith back and will make an attempt to re-sign him.

 

Current Roster

– Andrew Miller (4-3, 1.44)

Andrew Miller put together a dominant season out of the Indians bullpen. In 62-2/3 inning Miller gave up only 10 earned runs and struck out 95. A knee injury took away a portion of his season in the second half. The Indians will once again rely on Miller as the Mr. Everything out of the pen. He enters 2018 in the final year of his contract.

– Cody Allen (3-7, 2.94)

Cody Allen completed his fourth season as the Indians closer in 2017 which has seen him record 30 or more saves the last three seasons. Allen struck out 92 batters in 67-1/3 innings but allowed a career high nine homeruns. He will return as the Indians closer once again in 2018.

– Dan Otero (3-0, 2.85)

Dan Otero was once again an ironman for Tito Francona out of the bullpen. He posted a nice 2.85 ERA in 52 appearances. Otero will once again be a key member of the 2018 bullpen as the Indians as they signed him to a one year $1.3 million dollar contract for 2018.

– Tyler Olson (1-0, 0.00)

The Indians claimed Olson off waivers in July of 2016. He burst onto the scene in 2017 appearing in 30 games allowing no runs in 20 innings pitched in the regular season. Olson will return as the second left hander out of the pen in 2018.

– Nick Goody (1-2, 2.80)

The Indians acquired Nick Goody last offseason in a trade with the Yankees. Goody put together a solid first season in Cleveland striking out 72 in 54-2/3 innings. He will be a candidate to replace Bryan Shaw’s role in 2018.

– Zach McAllister (2-2, 2.61)

Zach McAllister quietly had a solid 2017 season for Cleveland. In 50 appearances he struck out 66 in 62 innings  posting a career low 2.61 ERA. If Bryan Shaw does indeed depart and the Indians do not acquire another reliever McAllister could get an opportunity for an expanded role.

Top available free agents

– Wade Davis (4-2, 2.30) – Chicago Cubs

Davis has been a dominant reliever for the past four seasons since converting from a starter. He is the top reliever in the market this offseason.

– Greg Holland (3-6, 3.61) – Colorado Rockies

Greg Holland made a nice comeback in 2017 after missing the entire 2016 season when he underwent Tommy John surgery. Holland made the all-star team and lead the National League with 41 saves.

– Tony Watson (7-4, 3.38) – Pittsburgh Pirates / Los Angeles Dodgers

Tony Watson is the top left handed reliever on the free agent market after a solid 2017 the the Pirates and Dodgers. He posted a 2.70 ERA down the stretch for Los Angeles.

– Mike Minor (6-6, 2.55) – Kansas City Royals

Mike Minor thrived in his first season as a reliever in 2017 after converting from a starting pitcher. He made 65 appearances with the Royals posting a 2.55 ERA.

 

 

 

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