Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals, July 25, 2020, at Progressive Field.John Kuntz, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Indians have traded right-hander Mike Clevinger to San Diego for a package of six players.
The Indians, along with Clevinger, sent switch-hitting outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named to the Padres. They will receive right-hander Cal Quantrill, left-hander Joey Cantillo, shortstop Gabriel Arias, catcher Austin Hedges, outfielder Josh Naylor and infielder Owen Miller.
In the wake of the trade, the Indians still have a four-man rotation of Shane Bieber, Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie. Zach Plesac could be recalled from their alternate training site at Classic Park to take Clevinger’s spot in the rotation. He was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Look for Plesac to take Clevinger’s spot in the rotation. Cantillo, Arias and Miller will eventually join the Indians’ alternate site in Eastlake.
Clevinger and Plesac were demoted to the Indians alternate training site at Classic Park in Eastlake for breaking team safety protocols on Aug. 8 in Chicago.
Money also played a part in this deal. Every big-league team and player has taken a hit financially this season because of the pandemic. Clevinger was scheduled to make $4.1 million in 2020, but the pandemic caused it to be prorated to an estimated $1.5 million. Even if he doubled his salary next year through arbitration to $8 million, that’s chump change for an established starter who could fill the No. 1 or No. 2 slot in a rotation. That is especially true with Clevinger, who has two years of control left.
To the Indians, however, that’s big money. It’s also the reason they couldn’t take on too much salary in their return for Clevinger.
The Indians acquired Clevinger from the Angels for Vinnie Pestano on Aug. 7, 2014. He was working his way back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2012. He spent 2016 at Class AA Akron and went 11-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 starts at Class AAA Columbus in 2017. Clevinger, interspersed among those 17 starts, made three trips to the big leagues. He went 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 17 games, including 10 starts.
Clevinger pitched well enough to make the Indians postseason roster and pitched in three games in the World Series that year.
In 2017 Clevinger went 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 27 games, including 21 starts. He moved into the rotation fulltime in 2018, going 13-8 with a 3.08 ERA in 32 starts. He reached the 200-inning mark and the 200-strikeout mark for the only time in his career.
Last year he went 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA in 21 starts. He missed 2 1/2 months with injuries to his right shoulder and left ankle, but still struck out 169 batters in 126 innings. He underwent surgery on his left knee in February before the start of spring training.
Since the July 31 trading deadline last year the Indians have traded right-hander Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and Clevinger.
New Indians face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Indians-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All MLB proceeds donated to charity.
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