CLEVELAND, Ohio – Needing a veteran presence in the bullpen, the Cleveland Indians signed the Free Agent Reliefs Bryan Shaw and Heath Hembree on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training on Wednesday.
Shaw, 33, played for Cleveland from 2013-17 and is probably best remembered by fans as the loser in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series against the Cubs. But Shaw’s legacy before that November night was one of the most enduring right-handed in Indian history. His 378 appearances rank second among the Cleveland reliefs.
The 32-year-old Hembree spent parts of seven seasons in Boston, where he appeared in 60 games for the Red Sox en route to the World Series title in 2018. Last year he worked in 11 games before moving to Philadelphia with Brandon Workman in late August. The Phillies cut both Workman and Hembree after the two teamed up for a 9.27 ERA last month of the season.
In five seasons with the Indians, Shaw led the American League three times, including a career high of 80 games in 2014. Shaw has not made less than 70 appearances in any of his seasons with Cleveland and has a 3.11 ERA with 8.4 deflections per game nine innings.
Combined with the Cody Allen franchise and the midseason acquisition of Andrew Miller in 2016, Shaw formed the backbone of a bullpen that led the Indians through the playoffs. But with Game 7, which was tied 6-6 on the 10th, Shaw gave an RBI double to Ben Zobrist and a runscoring single to Miguel Montero, which turned out to be the game-winning run.
After hitting a career high of 76 2/3 innings in 2017, Shaw signed a three-year deal with the Rockies worth $ 27 million. But he was under-challenged at Coors Field, with an ERA of 5.61 in 131 games over two seasons. Shaw appeared in 70 games in 2019, the fourth time in his career that he made so many appearances. He finished the season with an ERA of 5.38 and gave up 12 career-high home runs. He was in his third year of a $ 27 million deal.
Released by Colorado in July 2020, he signed with Seattle, where he appeared in six games and allowed for 12 earned runs in six innings.
Hembree’s deal includes a $ 1.25 million salary plus incentives if he becomes a major league club, according to MLB Network insider John Heyman. With Boston he started 2020 with an ERA of 1.86 through his first 10 appearances. He gave up four runs, including a triple home run against Bryce Harper in outing # 11.
With Philadelphia, Hemberee fought 11 appearances, posted a 12.54 ERA and allowed 24 base runners in 9 ⅓ innings. His season was interrupted by an elbow injury in mid-September.
The Indians are likely betting on Hembree to return to the form he showed from 2016-19 when the right-handed man had a 3.60 ERA with 10.1 deflections per nine innings and a gait rate of 3.4 in 212 2 / Recorded 3 innings.
Johnson on minor contract: The Indians also announced that they have signed veteran right-handed DJ Johnson, who spent 2020 in Japan, to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Johnson posed for the Rockies in 2018 and 2019, posting an ERA of 4.88 in 33 appearances with a whip of 1,596.
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