If the Indians trade a starter this offseason, it looks highly unlikely that Carlos Carrasco will be departing the shores of Lake Erie, as the righty has signed an extension through 2022. Ken Rosenthal broke the news Wednesday afternoon and the team shortly thereafter confirmed it:
We have signed Carlos Carrasco to a contract extension through 2022!— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) December 6, 2018
Cookie has the 7th best fWAR (18.2) among Major League pitchers since 2015, and led the Majors last season in cookies consumed (probably).#RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/dDEndEbqHx
Among talk of trades, the Tribe had been rumored to be seeking such a deal and now have succeeded in locking Cookie up as a rotation piece for at least four more seasons. The deal, as reported by Rosenthal, picks up Carrasco’s 2020 option (worth $10.25m) and guarantees him for 2021 and 2022 with a club option (that could vest) in 2023. This move could keep Carrasco in Cleveland through his age-36 season, meaning he will likely be an Indian for life.
The Athletic’s Zack Meisel has details on the money involved in the deal:
Carlos Carrasco's new contract, per source:— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) December 6, 2018
2023: $14M club option or a $3M buyout
With this extension completed, the team goes into the Winter Meetings, which begin next Monday and run through Thursday December 13, with Carrasco, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber under control through the 2022 season. Most observers expect the Tribe front office to be busy during the meetings at Mandalay Bay, and not at the swim-up bar. With Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi signing free agent deals, a deal for either Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer (who each have two years of team control remaining) may fall into place.
Overall, the Carrasco extension seems like smart business for right now, to make other players expendable and still retain an ace-level talent, and for the future, to lock in a clubhouse favorite. The only downside to this deal is that it was not completed on December 4, National Cookie Day.