Buster Olney reports that the Cleveland Indians do not plan on giving a qualifying offer to outfielder Michael Brantley. The qualifying offer this year is for one-year and $17.9 million.
An interesting move, but it’s hard to say whether it’s a good one.
On the one hand, Brantley hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI and 12 stolen bases over 143 games last season and, beyond him, the Indians outfield depth chart looks like a dang train wreck. The currently penciled-in left fielder is a second baseman. The currently penciled-in center fielder nearly friggin’ died last summer. Yes, there’s a chance the Indians add someone else or that Jason Kipnis and Leonys Martin have nice comeback years, but the cupboard is kinda bare out there right now.
On the other hand, Brantley will be 32 early next season and, his nice 2018 aside, has has been far from durable of late. $17.9 million for a single season may be worth that kind of gamble to a lot of teams but the Indians are far less free with their money than just about any contender.
I have no idea if not giving him a qualifying offer is a good move, but Brantley may prove to be one of the more interesting test cases as to where the free agent market stands this year.
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.
Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.
Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.
In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.