After releasing Chris Perez the Indians might be in the market for a new closer and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that they’re “scheduled to talk to” free agents Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson.
However, according to Hoynes the Indians are more likely to wait for someone’s price tag to drop rather than jumping in right away, in part because they have some potential in-house closer options in Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw.
Or, to put it another way: Cleveland has learned its lesson about paying for a so-called “proven closer” after watching Perez struggle while making $7 million.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.