Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditFriday, September 25, 2020

Articles tagged: Cleveland Indians

Mike Clevinger violating safety protocols did not lead to trade, Indians executive says

Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger has been a peripheral figure for the Cleveland Indians since he broke safety protocols. The team is denying that it led to him being traded, however.

Clevinger was dealt to the San Diego Padres on Monday after several days of trade rumors. The trade comes exactly three weeks after Clevinger broke COVID-19 protocols and then misled the team about it.

Indians president Chris Antonetti denied that the episode had anything to do with the decision to make the trade.

True or not? It’s hard to say. There were no Clevinger trade rumors until after the incident. He was promptly shipped to the team’s satellite camp, then returned for one start last Wednesday.

There was chatter that Clevinger’s teammates were furious over his behavior. Maybe it’s all coincidence. It’s also possible that the organization decided that Clevinger had to go for the good of the team.

Mike Clevinger traded from Indians to Padres

Mike Clevinger

The San Diego Padres are trying to load up for a World Series run, and they made a massive move on Monday when they acquired star pitcher Mike Clevinger.

Clevinger has been traded from the Cleveland Indians to San Diego, according to multiple reports.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Padres are sending MLB outfielder Josh Naylor and a package of prospects to Cleveland.

The Padres entered Monday with a record of 21-15 and five games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. They have been extremely aggressive at the trade deadline, as they also bolstered their lineup by adding slugging catcher Austin Nola and left-handed hitting first baseman Mitch Moreland this week.

Clevinger made his return to the Indians’ rotation on Wednesday night after he spent some time off the active roster due to a violation of team rules. Clevinger and fellow starting pitcher Zach Plesac had to quarantine and were then optioned to an alternate site when they broke health and safety protocols by going out to dinner during a road trip. Clevinger did not reveal that he went out with Plesac until after he traveled home with the team.

Plesac was told this week that the Indians do not have a spot for him to return to the MLB rotation at the moment. The team will likely call him up now.

Clevinger has been one of the best pitchers in the majors for several seasons. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this year. He posted a 2.71 ERA in 21 starts last season, striking out 169 in only 126 innings. Clevinger is not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

Report: Indians could trade Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor

The Cleveland Indians are turning into one of the most intriguing teams ahead of Monday’s MLB trade deadline.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Indians have had preliminary talks about trading shortstop Francisco Lindor. While no deal is likely, it is not impossible, either.

Lindor would immediately become the biggest name on the market. The four-time All-Star is a career .287 hitter with consecutive 30-home run seasons and a Gold Glove.

The shortstop is under team control through 2021. He’s given clear indications that he doesn’t think he’ll be staying beyond then, though. That’s a key reason why Cleveland might explore a trade now. Since he can theoretically be dealt in the offseason, that’s why the price is so high.

Report: Indians discussing Mike Clevinger trade with White Sox

Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indians are entertaining trade inquiries about star pitcher Mike Clevinger, and apparently they are not opposed to sending him to a division rival.

The Indians have been involved in active discussions about trading Clevinger to the Chicago White Sox, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports. The White Sox are currently just one game behind the Indians in the AL Central, which makes the trade talks even more surprising.

On paper, a trade between the two teams makes sense. Cleveland has a very deep rotation but could use another bat, while the White Sox really only have three reliable starting pitchers in Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel and Dylan Cease. However, the Indians are said to be seeking a massive haul in any potential trade involving Clevinger, and their asking price could be even higher for Chicago.

Nightengale speculates that the White Sox would have to include outfielder Adam Engel and possibly pitching prospect Michael Kopech in any Clevinger deal. Engel is hitting .255 this season and may be expendable after Chicago added Jarrod Dyson earlier in the week. The 24-year-old Kopech is recovering from Tommy John surgery and opted out of the 2020 season.

Clevinger made his return to the Indians’ rotation on Wednesday night after he spent some time off the active roster due to a violation of team rules. Clevinger and fellow starting pitcher Zach Plesac had to quarantine and were then optioned to an alternate site when they broke health and safety protocols by going out to dinner during a road trip. Clevinger did not reveal that he went out with Plesac until after he traveled home with the team.

Plesac was told this week that the Indians do not have a spot for him to return to the MLB rotation at the moment.

Clevinger has been one of the best pitchers in the majors for several seasons now. He’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this season. The 29-year-old is not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

Indians reportedly open to trading Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indians currently have more starting pitching than they can use, and they may be open to making a blockbuster trade to free up a spot in their rotation.

The Indians are open to trading Mike Clevinger, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. However, the asking price is said to be “ridiculous” at the moment, leading teams to believe a winter deal may be more realistic.

The MLB trade deadline is Aug. 31 this year.

Clevinger made his return to the Indians’ rotation on Wednesday night after he spent some time off the active roster due to a violation of team rules. Clevinger and fellow starting pitcher Zach Plesac had to quarantine and were then optioned to an alternate site when they broke health and safety protocols by going out to dinner during a road trip. Clevinger did not reveal that he went out with Plesac until after he traveled home with the team.

Plesac was told this week that the Indians do not have a spot for him to return to the MLB rotation at the moment. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA prior to being sent away from the team.

Clevinger has been one of the best pitchers in the majors for several seasons now. He’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this season. The 29-year-old is not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

Report: Indians may trade starter before deadline

Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have more starting pitchers than rotation spots right now, which could lead to movement in the next week.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, some within the league believe Cleveland will move a starter by August 31. This is partly because the team had to tell Zach Plesac that there is no open spot at the MLB level right now.

Plesac would still be on Cleveland’s roster if not for his conduct on the team’s recent road trip.

The Indians always seem to have quality starters and produce more when they need to. Shane Bieber is untouchable, while Aaron Civale has impressed this season as well. Carlos Carrasco is entrenched in a rotation spot, and the team is bringing back Mike Clevinger. That’s four quality pitchers already. If Cleveland wants a bat, they could deal from a position of strength here.

Report: Indians player threatened to opt out if Mike Clevinger, Zach Plesac remained on roster

Mike Clevinger

Cleveland Indians players were unhappy with Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac after the starting pitchers violated health and safety protocols, and one member of the team reportedly threatened to opt out of the season if Clevinger and Plesac were not removed from the active roster.

Indians players scolded Clevinger and Plesac during a tense meeting on Friday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. While some players accepted the two pitchers’ apologies, at least one — 39-year-old reliever Oliver Perez — said he would opt out of the season if Clevinger and Plesac returned to the active roster for Cleveland’s weekend series against the Detroit Tigers. That was apparently a factor in the decision to send the starters to an alternate site.

Players were more upset over Clevinger and Plesac violating their trust. Both pitchers tested negative for COVID-19, but there was a great deal of frustration that they would risk exposing the team to the coronavirus. Some felt Clevinger and Plesac should have been more cautious since pitcher Carlos Carrasco was treated for leukemia last year.

As Passan notes, the demotions could have serious financial consequences for both Clevinger and Plesac. Players lose a year of service time if they spend more than 19 days in the minor leagues, and Clevinger and Plesac are expected to be away from the Indians for at least 10. If Clevinger spent 20 days in the minors, he would be left one day short of reaching four years of service and potentially have his free agency delayed by a year.

Plesac began the season on an option for two days, so his service would be impacted if he spends 18 more days in the minors. Should that happen, he will not reach arbitration until after the 2022 season rather than after next season.

Clevinger angered the Indians by not admitting he went out with Plesac in Chicago until after he boarded the team plane home. Plesac took to Instagram last week in an attempt to defend himself, and that reportedly led to further frustration among his teammates.

The Indians swept the Tigers over the weekend to improve to 13-9 on the season. Their starting rotation has an MLB-best 2.43 ERA, and Clevinger is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts. He has been one of the best pitchers in the American League for three seasons. Plesac was off to an even better start this year, posting a 1.29 ERA in three outings.

Reds take LeBron James-themed shot at Indians on Twitter

This week’s series between Major League Baseball’s two Ohio teams is getting a little personal.

Ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Indians in Cleveland, the Cincinnati Reds tweeted some action shots of their players on the field and got in a shot at the city of Cleveland, saying it was so nice that LeBron James left it twice.

The Indians then hit back by pointing out that Cincinnati didn’t even have an NBA team. The Reds replied that their NBA team had never lost a game.

James, who indeed left Cleveland for the second time in 2018 to join the Los Angeles Lakers, was actually a pretty big fan of the Indians. It is probably a lot harder to support them now that he is thousands of miles away though.

Still, The King brought Cleveland to five total NBA Finals appearances and won the city their first professional sports championship in 52 years with the Cavaliers’ 2016 title. Thus, the Indians probably aren’t sweating the Reds’ Twitter fingers too much.

Terry Francona is in favor of Indians changing team nickname

The Cleveland Indians have joined the Washington Redskins in saying they will evaluate whether they should change their team nickname, and manager Terry Francona is among those who would welcome a rebranding.

Not long after the Redskins announced that they will be conducting a “thorough review” of their team name, the Indians released a statement confirming they will do the same. Francona was asked on Sunday about the possibility of the Indians having a new nickname, and he is in favor of the idea.

“It’s a very difficult subject,” Francona said. “It’s also delicate. … Even at my age, you don’t want to be too old to learn or to realize that maybe I’ve been ignorant of some things and to be ashamed of it and to try to be better. We’ve talked about this for years by ourselves. I’m glad we’re going to be open to listening. I think that’s probably the most important thing right now is being willing to listen, not necessarily just talk.”

Some people want to see the Indians change their name because of possible stereotypes, and it seems likely that they will at some point with reports indicating the Redskins are likely to change their name.

The Indians retired their former Chief Wahoo logo in 2018, and they have since moved to the block “C” as their primary logo. A new nickname could be next.

Longtime Terry Francona bench coach Brad Mills opts out of MLB season

Some key players have opted out of the 2020 MLB season, and now one important member of a team’s coaching staff has as well.

Cleveland Indians bench coach Brad Mills, who has worked under Terry Francona since 2004, will not be with the team this season. Francona shared the news with reporters on Sunday and said he supports the decision.

Mills, 63, came over with Francona to Cleveland before the 2013 season. The two previously worked together with the Boston Red Sox from 2004 to 2009 and helped lead the team to two World Series titles. Francona and Mills have a close relationship and have been known to needle each other throughout the years.

Mills managed the Houston Astros for two-plus seasons between his stints working alongside Francona.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price announced on Saturday that he is opting out of the 2020 season. Other players and coaches may do the same before games begin.