Bauer had a nice regular season tuneup, nobody got hurt, so even though the Indians lost their Cactus League finale, I'd call the game a success.
The main fact in the negotiations: Corey Kluber was four years from free agency, and one year from arbitration. This deal as described would buy out the first season of free agency plus allow the Indians to buy out two more seasons. Because Kluber burst out onto the baseball scene at an comparatively old age, this deal would very likely be the biggest he will sign. At the end of the guaranteed portion of the proposed deal he would be 34 years old, and would be 36 years old should the Indians exercised both of the options. CC Sabathia, whom the Indians also signed for two years past free agency, was 28 years old when he became a free agent. So even if Kluber would leave for free agency after this contract, the Indians will very likely get the best years of his career.
In addition, the Indians are also close to locking up Carlos Carrasco, who is three years from free agency, and is already into his arbitration years. We don't know what terms are involved in the contract discussions, but I would presume the time free is shorter than the Kluber contract, for a couple reasons. Carrasco would reach free agency at a younger age than Kluber, and would still have the potential for a lucrative contract at age 32. And Carrasco's success as a starting pitcher is confined to roughly two months. I'd expect any deal to take Carrasco through his arbitration years and no further.
Hoynes says that the Indians would like to announce the Kluber deal (and the Carrasco deal if it's done) this Friday before the home opener, which has been traditional day to announce extensions. The Indians announced the Brantley, Gomes, and Kipnis extensions before the home opener last season.
Paul Dolan, the team president, spoke with Jordan Bastian about the payroll, the team's chances, and the Progressive Field renovations:
"People coming to live downtown is at least a step back to where we were," Dolan said. "We've got a long way to go. We're doing everything we can to make [the team and ballpark] as attractive as possible."
Latest 25-man/40-man roster
The Indians will start the season with eight relievers and three position players on the bench. Four players (Swisher, Walters, Floyd, Tomlin) start the season on the Disabled List, with either Tomlin or Floyd moved to the 60-day Disabled List to make room for Anthony Swarzak. Charles Brewer and Giovanny Urshela will start the minor-league season on the minor-league DL.