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Cleveland Indians agree to two-year, $5.5 million extension with pitcher Josh Tomlin

Little Cowboy is staying in Cleveland.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a contract extension with pitcher Josh Tomlin that would keep the right-hander in Cleveland through for the next two to three years, Cleveland.com is reporting.

The base two-year deal is worth a guaranteed $5.5 million (plus incentives) through 2017 and it also includes a $3 million team option in 2018. All told, with the Indians picking up the 2018 option and all incentives kicking in, the deal could be worth as much as much as $11.75 million for Tomlin.

Tomlin and the Indians had already agreed to a $2.25 million deal earlier this month to avoid his final level of salary arbitration. Now the Indians have the 31-year-old locked up through potentially his first two years of free agency, similar to the approach they took with star pitchers Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.

The Indians drafted Tomlin in the 19th round of the 2006 draft and he made his debut with the team in 2010. Since then his career has been up-and-down, depending on how well he keeps his home run totals down. As a pitcher that constantly pounds the strike zone but does not manage to strike out an obscene amount of batters, Tomlin is especially susceptible to rough patches. He fared well in 2015 with a 3.02 ERA, but he also left 90.2 percent of runners stranded on base and finished the season with a .199 BABIP, two factors that lead to him having a 4.43 FIP, one of the highest marks in his six-year career.

As a fourth or fifth starter, getting Tomlin for around $2.5 million per season could be a steal over the next three years for the Tribe, especially if he can keep his home run totals down and continues to not allow free bases (he has only a career 4.1% walk rate).