The Cleveland Indians are taking a page out of their old playbook to try and get back to the World Series by bolstering their bullpen. They have agreed to send their top prospect, catcher Francisco Mejia, to San Diego in order to acquire Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber.
The Indians lead the AL Central by 7 1/2 games, but their bullpen is second-to-last in the league in ERA at 5.28. Last season, Cleveland had the best bullpen ERA in baseball. Andrew Miller, their workhorse during their World Series run and arguably one of the best closers two years ago, has seen his ERA fall from 1.44 last season to 4.40 this season.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2018
Hand, a 28-year-old left-hander, has a 2-4 record with a 3.05 ERA and a career high 24 saves this season. He has struck out 65 batters in only 44 1/3 innings. Cimber is only in his first season in the big leagues but has shown he can handle it with a 3.17 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.
Mejia, 22, has spent the bulk of this season at Triple-A, batting .279 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. He played one game with the Indians this season. ESPN’s Keith Law ranks him as the No. 5 prospect in baseball.
With their season not going the way they predicted it after their Eric Hosmer signing, they have gone into complete rebuild mode. They now have three of baseball’s top six prospects in Law’s midseason prospect rankings. Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 1 overall), Mejia (No. 5) and pitcher MacKenzie Gore (No. 6).