The Cleveland Indians signed veteran right hander Brett Myers to a one year, $7M deal today with a club option for 2014. They also announced that he will be added to the starting rotation, a surprise move considering the Indians rotation had already looked set and Myers spent all of 2012 in the bullpen. This move is disappointing in that it will mean Trevor Bauer will be starting 2013 in AAA with the rest of the rotation made of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Carrasco and Zach McAllister. It is understandable that the Indians want to be careful with their prize that cost them a year of Shin-Soo Choo, but it certainly seems Bauer is ready for the Major Leagues.
Myers has been a very durable pitcher over his career and has the added benefit of being versatile, switching from starting to the bullpen when need be. After four slightly above average seasons as a starter with Philadelphia to start his career, he easily moved into the closers role in 2007 and saved 21 games. After that one season, he spent the next four in the rotations of Philadelphia and Houston, but was back in the pen for 2012. Myers is 32 and should be a decent improvement over Derek Lowe as the Indians new aging starter.
The best thing about this signing is the added depth. Last season when a few pitchers were injured and everyone struggled, the Indians ran out of options, going as low as to start David Huff in multiple games. Having Myers will allow the Indians to spare Jeanmar Gomez, Corey Kluber and Bauer so they can be used as replacements if/when Jiminez has a repeat of last season or when the next hurler needs Tommy John surgery.
The Indians will need to make a 40 man roster move to add Myers to the team after his physical. Likely candidates are Huff, Thomas Neal or Lou Marson (wishful thinking).