Indians sign three pitchers to minor league deals
Today the Indians announced that they have officially signed free agent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir, right-handed pitcher Jerry Gil, and left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to Major League camp this spring.
Kazmir, 28, did not pitch with a Major League organization last season as he pitched in independent ball for Sugar Land in the Atlantic League and in 14 starts went 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA (64.0 IP, 74 H, 8 HR, 33 B, 51 K). He last pitched with a Major League organization in 2011 when he made six total appearances between the Angels and their Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate. He owns a career Major League pitching record of 66-61 with a 4.17 ERA in 179 starts with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels from 2004-2011 and was an American League All-Star in 2006 and 2008.
Gil, 30, appeared in 30 Major League games in 2004 and 2007 as a position player before being converted to the mound prior to the 2008 season. He owns a career minor league pitching record of 23-26 with 22 saves and a 5.63 ERA in 205 games (18 GS, 305.1 IP, 324 H, 235K). He spent the 2012 season in the Toronto Blue Jays system at Triple-A Las Vegas (7-1, 9 SV, 4.92 ERA) and tied for the Pacific Coast League lead with 58 relief appearances. This offseason he posted a winter ball ERA of 1.52 in 24 games (8 SV, 23.2 IP, 19 H, 4 ER, .20 K, .221 AVG) for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League.
Paredes, 26, pitched in the Seattle Mariners organization for seven seasons from 2005-11 and also recently completed a 24-game stint for Estrellas in the Dominican where he was 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA (14.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 8 BB, 10 K, .186 AVG) and limited left-handed hitters to a .174 (4-23) average. He did not pitch for an organization in 2012.
Kazmir is more for Major League pitching depth for the starting rotation and possibly the bullpen, and barring a miraculous showing in spring training will probably open the season in a yet to be defined role at Triple-A Columbus. Gil and Paredes are minor league depth for the Triple-A and Double-A rosters, and will need to have good camps to be assigned to an affiliate at the conclusion of spring training.
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In the past, I could understand the complaints about these signings since they were just about the only signings the Tribe would make. They'd scrape the barrel and pray for a miracle.
Yet this offseason they were very active. The cynic can complain that the payroll has not changed much year to year, but the reality is that the Indians could have shelled out a lot less money and pocketed a lot more with several expiring contracts.
Instead, we have an Indians squad with a lot less dead weight on the payroll. I think the Tribe had a better offseason than anyone that thinks rationally could dream of. Sure, we can all hope that they can shell out $100M or more every year, but that's not living in the realm of reality.
I would LOVE for the Tribe brass to okay a value free agent signing before the offseason is over because we'll likely see some good deals on guys that have yet to sign due to draft pick compensation. But I'm not holding my breath.
All that said, Kazmir is low risk, high reward. But he's not the only guy we're counting on. Myers is a solid signing. We know that Masterson and Jiminez can be much better than they were last year. We should be able to depend on the bullpen once more. We should have a much more balanced lineup with more scoring. And there's the potential that Bauer could step up right from the start.
I don't expect a division title, but I also don't think its out of the realm of possibility. This team has a different attitude and has done something. I hope that the people of Cleveland reward them by SHOWING UP. Unless something changes, it shouldn't be too cold up there come February. Support the Tribe and hopefully they will continue to spend some more money going forward.
...but the upside is still there for Kaz...just like it was for Karsay...
Kazmir led the league in strikeouts in 2007 and is left handed if he is anywhere's near the pitcher he was in the middle of the decade the tribe fans are in for a treat. Keep in mind the year he won the strikeout crown justin verlander was in his second year with the tigers so he beat some good people in verlander and the guy in minnesota as well. and if the recent kazmir numbers are indicative of what we got we have a zero investment in him so it is a win win win situation no way can we lose. if he become the back end of the rotation and has strengthened his arm back wow that turns out to be a good rotation a whole lot better than we even dreamed of and buys some time for some of the younger pitchers we have with options left. Add a healthy carlos carrasco and scott kazmir at number 4 and 5 in the rotation. You have a whole lot more than anyone dreamed of. And Scott Kazmir is 29!!!!!!!
Kazmir is a minor league deal ON TOP OF all the other guys...and if it works out, IT'S A STEAL. If it doesn't, what does he cost the Indians? It's not like anyone said, "Well, we have Kazmir, no need to get Lohse."