Cleveland faded in the second half after jumping out to a big lead in the AL Central, but at 80-82 the Indians still improved by 11 games compared to last season and they wasted no time exercising their 2013 option on manager Manny Acta.
Acta, who was already under contract for next season, has gone 149-175 (.460) in two years with the Indians after previously managing the Nationals to a 158-252 (.385) mark in two-plus seasons.
His coaching staff will look much different, however, as bench coach Tim Tolman resigned due to Parkinson’s disease and pitching coach Tim Belcher stepped down citing family obligations. And next season for the first time Acta will be managing a team with an expectation to contend.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”