Chasing after the division rival Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown and just a half a game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the final wild card spot, the Cleveland Indians appear to be actively searching for a few additional pieces to add to their roster before Wednesday’s trade deadline. One area they’re hoping to upgrade is their bullpen, as the team has reportedly had “serious talks” with the Colorado Rockies around left-hander Josh Outman, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Outman, who’ll turn 29 in September, has never been a dominating option over the course of his brief career but he’s handled himself well this season out of the Rockies bullpen in his first season as a full time reliever. He’s made 37 appearances on the year, posting a 4.50 ERA and 1.474 WHIP in 38.0 IP with a career best 9.7 K/9. He’s also been impressive against left-handed batters, holding them to a .224/.274/.303 line. Outman will remain under team control for two more seasons beyond this one, which presumably would add to his appeal.
While Sherman suggests that the two sides have already held talks, there’s little information available about who the two sides have discussed heading back to Colorado in such a deal. ESPN’s Jayson Stark suggests that right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who’s seemingly no longer in Cleveland’s plans moving forward, could potentially be “a name worth filing away”.
The Indians appear set on adding a left-hander reliever before the deadline but Outman may not be the only option they are looking at. Sherman alluded to another, whom MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian also believes could be a good fit, in San Francisco’s Javier Lopez. Lopez will be a free agent at season’s end and has ties to current Indians manager Terry Francona from their time together in Boston. The 36 year old has been having yet another strong season, posting a 1.42 ERA and 1.184 WHIP in 25.1 IP on the year. It’s unclear just how willing to move Lopez the Giants are, but with the team at the bottom of the NL West they could view it as a means to recoup something for one of their veteran arms.