You could pretty much fill a game day roster with former Indians who are currently free agents. Whether you would want to do so is another story. Some are guys who were on the roster last season and who just entered free agency, while others are definite blasts from the past. I’ve arranged them in three sections: Love to Have Back, Wouldn’t Mind Seeing Again, and Oh, Please No. Who would you want back?
Love to Have Back
Ubaldo Jimenez: We finally got the pitcher we traded for in 2011, however, I’d like more than four months of his services.
Scott Kazmir: How can you not love Kazmir’s comeback? It’d be great to see him repay the faith the Indians showed in him by returning to the club.
Joe Smith: Side arm sinker? 2.29 ERA? Yes, please.
Wouldn’t Mind Seeing Again
Matt Albers: Albers had a 3.14 ERA and 1.270 WHIP over 63 innings. He did a fine job although didn’t set my world on fire. Still, another reliable arm in the bullpen never hurts.
Shin-Soo Choo: Choo still has that cannon arm, and his .285 batting average in Cincinnati was almost identical to his .283 average for us in 2012. However, his OBP was much higher (.423 vs. .373), so he hasn’t lost a step. And don’t you miss yelling “CHOOOOOOOO” into the Progressive Field wind?
Daisuke Matsuzaka: He was only an Indian for a short time, but he may still have something left in the tank. Pitcher Whisperer Mickey Callaway could possibly help him regain some of his old stuff.
Jhonny Peralta: He’s been consistently good for Detroit. If Cabrera is used as trade bait, Peralta could be a good place holder for a year or two until Francisco Lindor is ready.
Bartolo Colon: He’s 40, but he still sported a sub-4.00 ERA the last two seasons.
Jake Westbrook: Oh hell, why not?
Oh, Please No
Trevor Crowe: Never found his mojo.
Shelley Duncan: I was a big Duncan supporter during 2011 and 2012, and I still like the guy. But I think he’s destined to be a AAAA player. “tis his fate.
Travis Hafner: I still carry a torch for Mommy’s Dirty Little Secret, but the hallmark of the Indians under Francona is versatility. I don’t want to tie up a roster spot for a guy who can only bat (and can’t even do that every day).
Roberto Hernandez : He sported a 4.89 ERA and a .316 win percentage for Tampa Bay last year. While his 1.336 WHIP was the third-lowest of his career, I can’t see him wanting to come back to the scene of the crime.
Casey Kotchman: His line the year before we got him: .306 AVG/.378 OBP/.422 SLG. That was the best year of his career. For us, he his .229/.280/.333. Not the numbers you need from your first baseman.
Rich Hill: 6.28 ERA, 1.733 WHIP over 38.2 innings. No, thank you.
Jason Kubel: A career .264 hitter, with a few good seasons and some crappy ones. We got one of the crappy ones.
Brent Lillibridge: I feel for the guy, I really do. His .216 batting average for Cleveland was the highest he had on any of the 7 teams he’s been with over the last two seasons. He always looked miserable while he was here.
Chris Perez: That ship has sailed.
Mark Reynolds: He was brilliant at the plate for a while there, but we need better than the .918 fielding percentage he gave us at 3rd.
Kelly Shoppach: We have a plethora of catchers, and some of them can even hit.
Grady Sizemore: We’ve had the return for old time’s sake in 2012. Enough.