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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Indians not planning to extend qualifying offers to top free agents

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The Cleveland Indians may be in for some roster shuffling this offseason.

The Indians are not planning to extend qualifying offers to some of their top impending free agents. The Athletic’s Zack Meisel reported on Friday that they will not be extending qualifying offers to Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

Miller, 33, was a dominant force for the Indians in 2016 and 2017, but he wasn’t the same in 2018. He went 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.

Allen, 29, was a valuable part of the team’s excellent bullpen and had 122 saves with a 2.69 ERA from 2012-2017. Similar to Miller, he tanked last season, going 4-6 with 27 saves with a 4.70 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

Brantley, who turns 32 in May, had a nice season batting .309 with 36 doubles and 17 home runs. But the Indians are not planning to bring him back on the qualifying offer price.

The qualifying offer price for 2019 is expected to be just under $18 million. In the past, teams could mostly count on players turning down qualifying offers to pursue long-term contracts, but after so few players got the long-term deals they were seeking last offseason, there is a greater risk of players accepting their qualifying offers.

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