Almonte was placed on waivers last week as part of the last round of roster cuts before the regular season began. His time in Cleveland was short, filled with higher-than-expected offense, and ultimately an unexpected disappointment.
The Indians acquired Almonte back in 2015 for reliever Marc Rzepczynski, freeing me from ever having to spell that name until this very moment. He was meant as nothing more than a fourth or even fifth outfielder, but he displayed a surprising amount of power in 51 games with the Tribe, hitting a career-high five home runs with a .455 slugging percentage. We’d get our answer why in 2016, when in June he was suspended 80-games for performance enhancing drugs.
Although he came into 2017 with a different approach — more walking, less power — his offensive production still wasn’t great and his spot as the team’s fifth outfielder was long gone to Austin Jackson. He amassed just 195 plate appearances last season with a .233/.314/.366 slash.
And finally, the last chapter of Almonte in Cleveland came last week when he failed to make the final roster cut because, according to manager Terry Francona, he came into spring camp, “a little heavy.” With no real place for him on the 40-man roster, the Indians opted to designated him for assignment.
Luckily for Almonte, there should be plenty of opportunities in Kansas City.