Four MLB players released this week who could interest the Cleveland Indians as free agents

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Four MLB players released this week who could interest the Cleveland Indians as free agents

Post by admin » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:14 am

Major League Baseball teams spent Wednesday making tough roster decisions ahead of an 8 p.m. deadline to protect players who are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

The Cleveland Indians added Daniel Johnson, Triston McKenzie and Scott Moss to their roster and designated reliever Nick Goody for assignment. Like many clubs, the Indians had to part ways with a player who had contributed at the big-league level and could still have a solid future elsewhere.

Around the league, several names popped up as having been DFA’d. Some surprising, some not so much. With the Indians heading into 2020 with needs on the infield, corner outfield positions and in the bullpen, a handful of options are not suddenly available.

Below are four players released ahead of Wednesday’s Rule 5 deadline that could interest the Indians at some point.
Matt Duffy, 3B

Duffy spent parts of three seasons with the Rays after joining Tampa in a trade that sent Matt Moore to the Giants. He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 after his first full big-league season with San Francisco. But leg injuries hampered the now 28-year-old infielder throughout his time with the Rays.

When healthy in 2015, he hit .295/.334/.428 in 149 games and was an elite defender. But he appeared in just 199 games with Tampa, missing 2017 after surgery on his Achilles.

Besides Duffy’s injury history, the question for Cleveland could be price tag. Duffy has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining and he’s projected to get $2.9 million according to MLBTradeRumors.com.Greg Bird, 1B

Beset by injuries after a breakout season in 2015, Bird missed all of 2016 following shoulder surgery, but recovered enough in 2017 to help bounce the Indians from the American League Division Series with a solo home run in Game 3 against Andrew Miller.

He has two arbitration seasons remaining at age 27 and is expected to make $1.3 million in 2020 according to MLBTradeRumors.com. Bird could draw interest from several teams because he has three options remaining, but will likely have to prove he’s healthy on a minor-league deal.

When healthy, Bird has shown he’s got some pop in his bat, posting a .529 slugging percentage in his rookie season. The Indians don’t really have a need for a first baseman this year, but that could change depending on trades or injuries.

Drew Gagnon, RHP

The Mets cut Gagnon after he allowed 11 home runs in 23 2/3 innings across 18 appearances last season. The 29-year-old righty posted an 11.8% swinging-strike rate for New York, but had good numbers at Triple-A with a 2.33 ERA and 1.7 walks-per-nine.

Daniel Palka, RF

The left-handed hitting slugger smacked 27 home runs for the White Sox as a rookie in 2018 and batted .240/.294/.484 but fell off last year as Chicago’s wealth of outfield talent, including Eloy Jimenez, advanced ahead of him. The 28 year old is a below-average defender and needs to develop consistency with putting the ball in play, but could benefit from a change of scenery.

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