On Friday, the Indians non-tendered Rafael Perez, Jack Hannahan, and Chris Seddon. There is a chance that the Indians resign them; Chris Antonetti is supposedly considering that as an option. Perez struggled with injury in 2012, and it sounds as if there’s some uncertainty as to his health looking forward to 2013. Jack Hannahan was also injured in 2012, and had a pretty mediocre season at third – .244/.312/.341 with 4 home runs and an 0.7 WAR. The Indians seem prepared to give Lonnie Chisenhall the full-time third base job, so it would really make Hannahan less necessary (especially when there are already other utility infielders). Chris Seddon, who came to spring training last year on a minor league contract, was designated to make room for first baseman Mike McDade, who was claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. McDade hit .285/.360/.445 with 17 home runs between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas. When Toronto made their mammoth trade with Miami, they needed to clear roster room and McDade drew the short straw. It’s an example of the Indians (as they often do) looking to make another team’s trash their treasure.
There were a number of players non-tendered around baseball this past week. Should the Indians take a chance with any of them? Here are some of the players that could at least receive some degree of consideration:
Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B – Non-tendered by Baltimore, Reynolds hit .221/.335/.429 with 23 home runs in 2012. His career averages are relatively similar – .235/.332/.475 over six major league seasons with Arizona and Baltimore. Even though Reynolds has mediocre average totals, and a high number of strikeouts, he does represent a right-handed power bat. In his six major league seasons, the only time he hit fewer than 20 home runs was in 2007, his first season in the bigs. He’s slightly better against left-handed pitching as compared to right over his career, and he could be an option for the Indians as a 1B/DH.
Jair Jurrjens, RHP – Non-tendered by Atlanta, Jurrjens battled injuries and pitched poor enough to eventually be sent down to the Braves’ Triple-A club in 2012. In 2011, he went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA, and a 1.224 WHIP, so it’s not too far of a stretch to think that he could rebound if 100% healthy. He’s just 26-years-old and has ties to the AL Central; he was originally signed as an international free agent in 2003 by the Detroit Tigers, before they traded him to Atlanta for Edgar Renteria.
Jeff Karstens, RHP – Karstens was non-tendered by the Pirates, after he had an injury-riddled season in Pittsburgh. Even with the injuries, Karstens put up strong numbers – a 3.97 ERA and a 1.147 WHIP in 90.2 innings pitched. He was solid in 2011 with fewer health issues – a 3.38 ERA, and a 1.207 WHIP in 162.1 innings pitched. He also has a pretty classic look on his face most of the time (particularly when he pitches).
John Lannan, LHP – Non-tendered by the Nationals, Lannan only pitched 32.2 innings at the major league level this year, mainly because the Nationals just didn’t have room in the rotation for him. In 184.2 innings pitched in 2011, Lannan went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.462 WHIP. For most of Cleveland’s season in 2012, the rotation was without a southpaw; the 28-year-old Lannan could be a pretty good fit.
Scott Kazmir, LHP – He last pitched in the majors with the Angels in 2011; he spent 2012 in the independent leagues. He’s currently pitching for the Gigantes de Carolina in the Puerto Rican winter league and is drawing interest from major league teams (including the Indians). He had a good outing the other night, when he pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits, striking out seven and walking one.
Alfonso Soriano, OF – The Cubs are once again looking to trade Soriano, who has two years left on his bloated contract with the Cubs. They Cubs are reportedly looking to deal him at the winter meetings, and are willing to eat some of his remaining contract. He’s right-handed and still has some power; it’s an option for the Indians to consider.
Completely random other possibility:
David Price, LHP – I shudder to think what it would take to acquire Price, but despite his recent Cy Young win, the Rays are still looking to deal him. Even though there is probably a 0.0% chance of him coming to Cleveland, it’s nice to dream. The mere thought of Price in the Indians’ rotation made me drool on my keyboard.
We may see some things start to fall into place over the next week as the winter meetings get underway. Even if the Indians don’t do anything, there are teams that will make trades and sign free agents. At this point, some of the pieces need to start moving for the rest to fall into place. These moves often lay the groundwork for things that will happen later this winter.