Cleveland Indians Off-Season Review: Signing Brett Myers

By jefflingard
New Cleveland Indians starter Brett Myers
Brett Davis-US Presswire

The Cleveland Indians‘ pitching staff ranked 26th in Fangraphs WAR and 28th in xFIP in 2012. The Indians have no hope of contention until they are able to correct this. They are hoping for Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez to revert to the pitchers they were in 2011 and 2010  but also needed to add more established pitching after throwing out pitchers like Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff and Josh Tomlin, who were replacement level at best the last two seasons.

Enter Brett Myers. The Indians hope that Myers can be their #3 starter for at least 2013 after signing him to a one-year, $7 million contract with an $8 million club option in 2014. Myers spent 2012 with the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox in the bullpen. The Astros were trying to optimize value of their assets and thought Myers would be more desirable as a closer than as a middle of the rotation starter. Myers did not take to the bullpen well and only provided a WAR of 0.1 between the Astros and White Sox in a small sample size of 65 innings.

The Indians are hoping for league-average production from Myers, which would be between his value in 2010 and 2011. Myers will have to overcome a decrease in strikeout rate and a decrease in velocity as well as adjusting to pitching in the American League as a starter for the first time.

I’m hoping for a season similar to Kevin Millwood’s 2005 season with the Indians, where he provided almost 4 WAR on a one year deal. I’m not sure what to think of this signing. The Indians have to overpay a bit to acquire free agents since they are not a preferred market right now and the term is right. It’s hard to overpay on a one year contract and the $8 million club option for 2014 is a low risk, high reward type of move.

What are your thoughts on the Myers signing? Let us know in the comments below.

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