The Tigers just announced that they’ve reached a one-year deal with Phil Coke.
Coke’s a lefty specialist that, presumably, will be paid like a lefty specialist. Of course, early in the year he was given a shot at the closer’s role as Jim Leyland cast about for replacements for Jose Valverde. Coke did poorly with that before injuring his groin. After he came back he was demoted to Triple-A Toledo for a while. Just a lost year in which he only mustered a 5.40 ERA and 30/21 K/BB ratio over 38 1/3 innings.
Coke earned $1.85 million in 2013 and was arbitration-eligible. He probably would have been non-tendered, though, so the guess is that this is a pretty cheap deal.
Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.
Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.
It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.