Quintin Berry
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Quintin Berry retires

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Former outfielder Quintin Berry announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Friday night. He’s expected to take a front office role as outfield and baserunning coordinator for the club in 2019, though his new position has yet to be officially confirmed.

Berry, 33, saw limited exposure in the majors over the course of his 13-year pro ball career. He got his start in the league with the Tigers, who utilized him for the better part of their 2012 campaign and saw him bat a healthy .258/.330/.354 with 18 extra bases and 21 stolen bases through 330 PA. He was dealt to the Red Sox for right-hander Clayton Mortensen in 2013 and found himself in a heavily reduced role, but returned to pinch run in the postseason and was still able to count himself part of the team that ended up clinching a World Series title that fall.

Following his final major league appearance in 2017, during which the fleet-footed outfielder appeared in just seven games with the Brewers, Berry holds a lifetime .262/.333/.364 batting line, 19 extra-base hits, and 29 stolen bases. He played out the remainder of his playing career in back-to-back stints with the Brewers and Yankees’ Triple-A affiliates in 2018, but elected not to pursue additional opportunities in the minors in 2019.

Moving forward, Berry will help the Brewers hone their running game even further. The club finished first among all NL teams and fifth in the league overall after swiping 124 bags in 2018, owing in large part to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich‘s career-high marks of 30 and 22 stolen bases, respectively. Still, there’s likely something to be gleaned from a player who capped a dozen seasons in the minors with 399 stolen bases in 496 chances, even if he never got the opportunity to prove his prowess on a big league stage.

Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, Texas is sending center fielder Delino DeShields and pitcher Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. There are reports that the Indians will be getting more than just those two players, but no word yet. The deal is pending physical.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.

DeShields, 27, is a career .246/.326/.342 hitter (76 OPS+) and that’s about how he performed in 2019 as well. He was demoted to Triple-A Nashville in May. Clase, who will turn 22 before next season, pitched 21 games, all but one in relief, for the Rangers in 2019 and will still be considered a rookie in 2020. He has been used mostly as a reliever in the minors as well.

Pending what else the Tribe is going to be getting, this appears to be a light return for a pitcher who, despite his 2019 injuries, should be expected to come back and be a workhorse. Unless there is some real talent coming back, in addition to DeShields and Clase, it would seem to be a salary dump for Cleveland and a steal for Texas. It is likewise perplexing how any of the many, many teams who could use starting pitching — the Angels and the Mets, among others, come to mind — could not top the package Texas offered.