With no shortage of decisions to make in the coming days, the Cleveland Indians made their first on Friday when they picked up the options on the contracts of outfielder Michael Brantley and pitcher Josh Tomlin.
A 2-time All-Star (including in 2017), Brantley hit .299 and 9 home runs while appearing in 90 games last season. He is currently recovering from ankle surgery, which is expected to prevent him from participating in baseball activities for the next four-to-five months.
With his option believed the be worth $11 million, the decision to pick up Brantley's option could have ramifications on how the Indians proceed in attempting to re-sign first baseman Carlos Santana and/or outfielder Jay Bruce.
As for Tomlin, the right-handed pitcher compiled a 10-9 record in 26 starts last season, posting a 4.98 ERA and 141 strikeouts. Although he didn't start in any of the five games that comprised the Indians' American League Division Series loss to the New York Yankees, he did earn the win in Game 2 following a 2-inning, 3-strikeout relief performance.
In picking up Tomlin's option, Cleveland re-solidifies a starting pitching staff that served as one of baseball's best in 2017. In addition to Tomlin, the Indians will return ace Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger in 2018.
Tomlin will make $3 million in 2018 before becoming a restricted free agent next offseason.
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