The Cleveland Indians are only three games back from the Minnesota Twins and they hold home-field advantage for the AL Wild Card. I say that not only to strike more fear into the flailing Twins, but also because it means the Indians are in a precarious situation: Do they buy, or do they sell?
On the buy side of things, is the latest rumor that the Tribe are interested in Baltimore Orioles reliever Mychal Givens.
Givens is a 29-year-old right-hander in his first year of arbitration, meaning the Indians could have him under control (albeit potentially expensive control) for the next two seasons.
In 38.1 innings with the Orioles this season, Givens has a disappointing 4.23 ERA, but he’s sporting a career-high 33.1% strikeout rate and a fastball spin rate in the upper quarter of the league. His main issue this season is his home runs — he’s given up eight already this season, approaching his career-high of 10 which he gave up in 69 games in 2017.
Givens features a fastball, slider, changeup combination, with most of his swing and miss stuff coming from the changeup. He’s thrown his impressive change 12.2% of the time this season, up 3% from last year, and it has generated swings and misses 19.48% of the time, according to Brook’s Baseball.
It appears there is already some competition for Givens in the form of the Braves and Dodgers, so the price won’t be nothing. The Indians were also interested in Givens dating back to last year’s trade deadline, when the Orioles opted to keep Givens instead of dealing him.