The Cleveland Indians are beginning to make moves every day that will eventually result in the Opening Day roster.
Earlier this week it was letting veteran outfielder Billy Hamilton know he won’t make the team.
The moves continued Friday and a trade was even made.
Roster moves today:
Optioned to @CLBClippers
INF Nolan Jones
RHP Carlos Vargas
LHP Scott Moss
RHP Eli Morgan
RHP Jean Carlos Mejía
Reassigned to Depth Camp
RHP Kyle Dowdy
OF Billy Hamilton
Traded to @Reds for cash
INF Mike Freeman
+Roster at 48 players
— Tribeinsider (@tribeinsider) March 12, 2021
Plenty of Indians fans will be happy with the trade news.
Mike Freeman Sent to Cincinnati
The Mike Freeman trade is interesting, at least to this writer, because he seemed like the usual type of player Terry Francona would want as a utility infielder.
Now a spot is open for someone like Yu Chang to get work even if it is in a backup role.
Freeman now heads to Cincinnati after spending two seasons with the Indians.
He appeared in a total of 99 games with the team over two seasons and did post a 1.1 WAR in that span.
So while he was not the young option fans would prefer, he held his own in limited action.
Freeman is now 33 years old with a birthday coming up in August.
It just made no logical sense for the front office to give him another shot unless they really wanted to openly stash prospects in the minors for service time reasons.
However, at some point the young guys need to play and 2021 could finally feature a nice young crop of talent in Cleveland.
Top Prospects Sent Down
Nolan Jones being sent down is not a huge surprise, but is still newsworthy.
He is the top prospect in the system and one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
Service time is always a concern and Jones will now spend at least the month of April at the alternate site in Columbus.
This move should signal he then begins the season in Triple-A before coming up at some point in the summer.
Scott Moss is the other notable demotion, bringing a bit more clarity into the already crowded pitching staff.
The Indians still have a long way to go in terms of finalizing the roster.
But the good news is that the shortstop position has a bit more clarity and the outfield is beginning to take shape as well.
So what will fans remember most about Freeman?
Well, not much.
The team still did give a shoutout on Twitter in what was a nice move.
Thank you to the man who always did his job when he was called upon.
Best of luck in Cincinnati, @MikeBFree5! pic.twitter.com/n9Lo5z3FZ9
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) March 12, 2021
Fans who didn’t want Freeman in the utility role will like this move.
Maybe he will come back one day, but for now the youth movement is real in Cleveland.
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