After 1 day of activity, I decided it would be a great opportunity to update everyone on how the SB Nation Simulation is going for the Indians so far. This season I chose an aggressive approach to close as many of the holes in our roster as I could. I am prepared for the wolves to sick on me, but I accomplished the following after 1 day of work:
Internal Roster Decisions:
Cleveland declined OF Michael Brantley's option
Cleveland declined LHP Craig Breslow's option
Cleveland declined LHP Boone Logan's option
Cleveland exercised RHP Josh Tomlin's option
Overall the option decisions were easy. Tomlin at $3.0M is a bargain, the remaining players are not. Michael Brantley was a tougher decision because of his long history in the organization, but I felt I could allocate the money better elsewhere.
Essentially everyone here was a no-brainer besides Zach McAllister & Lonnie Chisenhall. I opted to keep Lonnie, because he pairs well with the already signed Brandon Guyer (and I did not want to siphon off too many assets). Zach McAllister was a last minute decision I made because I was tight on cash. Overall I felt confident enough in my bullpen options to go without him, and decided he was the easiest option to save some cash.
With three Major League catchers on the roster I felt I had to move one, and I wanted a controllable bullpen piece in return. Sam Freeman is in his first year of arbitration, and is left handed. Overall he's a solid major leaguer who serves a purpose on this roster. With Logan flamed out, and no real great options in the system I decided to go with Freeman.
Overall I was surprised how many GMs had interest in Roberto Perez. I received several offers for Perez, but only one attractive option for Gomes, which is the one I took. I believe this is the correct decision as Gomes is owed a large sum of money later in his contract. He and Perez are the same age, with similar skill sets and when Meija finally heads topside (which I anticipate happening at the start of 2018) keeping both will be superfluous.
This is the trade I am proud of, as Ozuna is EXACTLY the type of player I wanted to acquire this offseason. He's right handed, young, a good all around player, and a great offensive weapon. He slides right into right field, and is a perfect fit in our lineup. It did cost me a controllable starter in Danny Salazar. However, with Danny's struggles to remain healthy, and inconsistency across the board: he was the most expendable starter on the roster beyond Josh Tomlin. The losses of Bradley and Cheng were a small price to pay beyond Salazar. With Francisco Lindor already in the fold, we don't need a shortstop except for trade bait.
Cleveland signs RHP Bryan Shaw to a 3 year contract worth $21.0M, with a club option worth $7.0M ($2.0M buyout)
Bryan Shaw returns, and just marginally over the contract MLB Trade Rumors projected he was worth. I believe this is a good signing, returning a rubber arm to our bullpen and ensuring we do not over leverage Andrew Miller & Cody Allen.
Cleveland signs 1B Carlos Santana to a 4 year contract worth $57.0M with a 2nd year opt out, and a club option worth $12.0M ($1.0M buyout)
This was actually my opening offer to Carlos, and I decided to stay aggressive and ahead of the league. I know a 4 year commitment is hardly ideal, but the contract's backloaded. I also felt with Carlos Santana in the fold for the foreseeable future I could afford to trade Bobby Bradley.
Cleveland signs LHP C.C. Sabathia to a 2 year contract worth $24.0M with a club option worth $10.0M ($2.0M guaranteed)
I had some extra payroll space, and this is why I non-tendered Zach McAllister. I figured some extra starting depth is great, and decided to return to an old friend for it. C.C. offers a completely different look compared to the rest of our staff, and provides some buzz. While our experiences with him in the post season are...poor, recent experience indicates a properly rested Sabathia can dominate.
Cleveland signs C. Carlos Ruiz to a minor league contract
A little depth never hurts, and Minnesota already signed Chris Gimenez
Overall I feel I have done good work this offseason. I did maximize the 2018 roster over the future, which I am confident some will view negatively. However, I retained a majority of our farm system, and only went mildly over budget for the coming season. I will continue to explore opportunities to improve; but I expect the bulk of my work is done.