This past week the Indians made one move affecting their 40-man roster. And no, it wasn't very important:
Sent UT MIchael Martinez outright to Columbus (AAA); re-signed him to minor-league contract and invited him to Spring Training
Because Martinez has been in organized baseball for seven seasons, he automatically became a minor-league free agent when he left the 40-man roster, which is why the Indians needed to re-sign him to keep him in the organization. Martinez mostly played the outfield when he was with the Indians, but he's best used in the infield. That he played center field shows how little depth the Indians have there, and why they'll be acquiring at least one outfielder this offseason.
With Martinez outrighted, that leaves 36 players on the 40-man roster. The deadline to add Rule 5-eligible players to the 40-man roster is this Friday (November 20), and I'd expect the Indians to use at least three of those spots to protect prospects from selection.
This was voted on by the Cleveland chapter of the BBWAA. Mike Aviles received the Good Guy award.
Cody Anderson and Josh Tomlin were very pleasant surprises last year, and if no trades are made, would be battling for the fifth spot in the rotation (along with Trevor Bauer I suppose) next spring.
Last season Hellickson made 27 starts for Arizona, had a 4.44 FIP, which isn't that bad. The issue is that Hellickson is eligible for arbitration, and will be getting paid more like a 3rd starter ($6-7M) than the 5th starter that he is. Which is why the sole player received in the deal was Sam McWilliams, who hasn't yet pitched beyond Rookie ball. Hellickson is also on track to become a free agent after the upcoming season.
For those that don't follow the gaming world, here's some background. Fallout is a very popular action RPG series that takes place in a world after nuclear war. One of the reasons it's so popular is that the Fallout modding* community is one of the biggest out there. This entry of the series (released this week) takes place in Boston, and contains the ruins of Fenway Park. So it was only natural that one fan would put a David Ortiz jersey into the game. Unfortunately, that ran afoul of MLB, and it's probably inevitable that the mod will be removed. I loved this quote though:
"I’m not making any money off of it. I’m the little guy. It would be in bad taste for them," Branson said. "We know Ortiz is not a zombie-killing, post-apocalyptic warrior. And that’s what makes it funny."
*"modding" is short for modification. In other words, the non-official modification of a game (usually on PC).