Cleveland Indians Bring in Pair of Relievers on Minor-League Deals
The Cleveland Indians signed free agents Bryan Shaw and Heath Hembree on Wednesday. Jon Heyman of MLB Network was first to report the news regarding Hembree. Meanwhile, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reported the Bryan Shaw news first.
Heath Hembree signs minors deal with Indians. $1.25M plus incentives in majors
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 3, 2021
Sources: The Indians are bringing back Bryan Shaw on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Shaw posted a 3.11 ERA with Cleveland from 2013-17 and led MLB in appearances during that span. He had a rough time with the Rockies after that.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) February 3, 2021
As mentioned in both reports, the deals for Hembree and Shaw are minor league contracts. Both individuals present potential impactful depth options for Cleveland.
Hembree, who turned 32-years old last month, pitched for both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies last season. Over a sample of 22 appearances, he posted a 9.00 ERA with an 8.82 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP) and a 9.5 K/9 rate.
On the other hand, Shaw spent last season with the Seattle Mariners after being released in July by the Colorado Rockies. In total, Shaw racked up an 18.00 ERA over six innings of work. Granted, it was a small sample.
Outlook of the Cleveland Indians Bullpen
As it stands right now, both Hembree and Shaw will give Cleveland competition come Spring Training for bullpen roles. Furthermore, if one or both make the major league team, then it will give the Indians veteran leadership in their bullpen.
At the start of the offseason, the Indians released closer Brad Hand and his $10 million salary for the 2021 season. Hand signed with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $10.5 million deal last month. However, without Hand in the equation, the Indians bullpen doesn’t look as impactful on paper as it did last season.
The good news is that James Karinchak will be in his second big league season and Emmanuel Clase will be back from his suspension. Clase was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Corey Kluber trade. In addition, Cal Quantril, acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Mike Clevinger trade last summer, figures to factor heavily into Cleveland’s plans for the bullpen this year.
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