Traded RHP Zach Putnam (AAA) to the Colorado Rockies for RHP Kevin Slowey
The juxtaposition of this deal to the news out of the Dominican Republic would seem to indicate the Indians are hedging themselves, but Chris Antonetti denied any direct correlation between the two events:
"There's obviously some uncertainty with Fausto's situation," Antonetti said. "But as we've talked about throughout the course of the offseason, we've looked for opportunities to improve the team in any way we can. This is a guy we've had interest in for a while.
But with the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona's legal troubles likely to at the very least to delay him past the February 19th Spring Training report date, Slowey should be competing for the rotation spot abandoned by Roberto Hernadez Heredia. The Indians have been interested in Slowey for a while, going back to the 2005 Draft, and when the Twins dealt him to the Rockies, Chris Antonetti immediately went to work in trying to deal for him.
Indians fans are very familiar with Slowey, as though he was dealt from the Rockies, he has spent his entire career pitching in the AL Central. He was a statistical marvel in the minors, posting a 2.13 ERA and a SO/BB ratio of 6.9. But that final jump proved to be a big one, and Slowey, although he has maintained his strikeout rates, has found run prevention more difficult, allowing a 4.66 ERA (90 ERA+) in 532.2 big-league innings. He's allowed 10.2 H/9 in the majors even with a decent 6.7 SO/9 rate. Slowey is a fly-ball pitcher, recording about 50% of his outs via a fly ball, and he'll give up a lot of home runs.
Slowey has a four-pitch retetroire: a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a slider, and a slow curve. His fastball tops out in the high-90s. Highlights from one his better starts last season:
Slowey had an all-around bad 2011 season. He started the season in the bullpen, and when that didn't work out, he was sent to the minors. He also had problems with his shoulder and elbow. The move to the bullpen didn't sit well with Slowey, who told manager Ron Gardenhire (and also the microphones) that he wanted to start, and if that wasn't with the Twins, then it needed to be somewhere else:
Speaking after Sunday's loss to Arizona, Slowey suggested he might be better off elsewhere.
"I understand our situation here," he said. "I understand the starters we have here, and I understand that, even given past successes as a starter, this might not be the right fit for me anymore."
Slowey would be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, but (and this is a big but), the Indians have an option left on him. So if he doesn't look good in Spring Training, the Indians can send him to Columbus. Slowey has 4.053 years of service time, so if he spends more than 53 days in the minors this season, he wouldn't be eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season. I don't think the Indians will keep Slowey in the minors if he's pitching well and can help the major-league club, but that has to be something to take into consideration.
The Indians dealt again from their relief pitching depth to acquire Slowey. Zach Putnam would have been one of the first players brought up from Columbus, and is ready to pitch in the majors. He doesn't have a huge upside, but I think he has a very good shot of having a lengthy major-league career. He's generally been ranked in the 15-20 range in organizational prospect ratings, though that's mainly because he doesn't have the upside other younger prospect have.
|2005||21||MIN-min||A,Rk||2.12||17||9||1||1||72.0||44||19||17||5||8||84||268||0.722||5.5||0.6||1.0||10.5||10.50||BEL,ELZ · MIDW,APPY|
|2006||22||MIN-min||A+,AA||1.88||23||23||1||0||148.2||102||42||31||8||22||151||575||0.834||6.2||0.5||1.3||9.1||6.86||FTM,NBR · FLOR,EL|
|2007||23||MIN-min||AAA||1.89||20||20||5||1||133.2||110||31||28||4||18||107||523||0.958||7.4||0.3||1.2||7.2||5.94||ROC · IL|
|2008||24||MIN-min||A+,AAA||2.08||3||3||0||0||13.0||4||3||3||3||4||19||47||0.615||2.8||2.1||2.8||13.2||4.75||FTM,ROC · FLOR,IL|
|2011||27||MIN-min||AAA,A+||3.60||11||11||0||0||50.0||53||21||20||4||6||38||212||1.180||9.5||0.7||1.1||6.8||6.33||ROC,FTM · IL,FLOR|
|162 Game Avg.||4.66||36||32||1||1||191||217||103||99||30||30||141||810||90||1.295||10.2||1.4||1.4||6.7||4.70|
|2008||20||CLE-min||A-||3.72||3||0||0||9.2||7||5||4||0||5||8||40||1.241||6.5||0.0||4.7||7.4||1.60||MHV · NYPL|
|2009||21||CLE-min||AA,A+||4.13||38||9||2||80.2||81||41||37||3||23||80||341||1.289||9.0||0.3||2.6||8.9||3.48||AKR,KIN · EL,CARL|
|2010||22||CLE-min||AA,AAA||3.69||37||14||3||75.2||78||35||31||4||16||65||316||1.242||9.3||0.5||1.9||7.7||4.06||AKR,CLB · EL,IL|
|2011||23||CLE-min||AAA||3.65||44||16||9||69.0||61||30||28||6||23||68||292||1.217||8.0||0.8||3.0||8.9||2.96||CLB · IL|
|162 Game Avg.||6.14||68||26||0||62||85||43||43||9||0||77||289||68||1.364||12.3||1.2||0.0||11.0|