Indians avoid arbitration with lefty Josh Outman

Colorado Rockies v St. Louis CardinalsNew left-handed reliever Josh Outman agreed to a $1.25 million deal in 2014 with the Cleveland Indians, the first of likely many arbitration-eligible deals to be announced shortly.

Famously, Cleveland has avoided going to an arbitration hearing since 1991. This season, six total players filed for arbitration — ace Justin Masterson, outfielder Michael Brantley, right-handers Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin, and the lefties Marc Rzepczynski and Outman.

The 29-year-old, acquired in a trade from Colorado for Drew Stubbs, has a 4.61 ERA in 121 games (32 starts) in his MLB career. Last season, he posted a 4.33 mark in 61 relief appearances, striking out 53 batters in 54.0 innings.

Outman’s platoon splits have surprisingly become very much more pronounced in the majors, as I shared on Twitter last month. The website MLB Trade Rumors estimated him to receive a $1.8 million salary this season, so it’s a slight victory for the Indians in the negotiations.

Stubbs is expected to receive a $3.8 million salary this season. After the Indians signed free agent David Murphy to a two-year $12 million deal, Stubbs became the most expendable outfielder for the Tribe. With the assumed departure of veteran Rich Hill, they were in need for another proven MLB lefty reliever.

If necessary, arbitration hearings are scheduled to take place from Feb. 1-21. Thus, we should likely more news and reports in the coming weeks about the remaining Indians left to be officially signed for 2014.

[Related: The Diff: Reviewing Indians pitching moves this offseason]

Photo: Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Thank the baseball Gods!

  • architrance

    Wahoo, the streak continues! But seriously – how does that compare to the rest of MLB? Is that normal/abnormal? Is this an advantage in the eyes of young players/agents?

  • nj0

    Is what normal? Avoiding arbitration? Yes. No cases went to arbitration last year. It is becoming very rare.

    In baseball arb cases, both sides come in with a number and a arbiter chooses which one to award. No middle ground. So both team and player risk a lot. So unless they are very far apart, arb is usually avoided.