CLEVELAND (AP)The Indians traded right-hander Adam Plutko to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, a move that brings some clarity to their bullpen situation.
Cleveland will get a player to be named or cash in return for Plutko, who was out of minor league options and seemed to be destined for a role in long relief this season. The 29-year-old has appeared in 50 games and made 36 starts for the Indians since 2016.
Plutko’s departure seems to point to Logan Allen, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill all making the Indians’ opening-day roster.
Manager Terry Francona said the first three spots in the rotation were set with AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale. Allen, who is a left-hander, seems to have locked up the No. 4 spot after a strong camp. He pitched five shutout innings in a start on Friday.
McKenzie or Quantrill will either be the fifth starter or go to the bullpen. McKenzie makes his last exhibition start Sunday against San Diego.
Plutko was Cleveland’s player representative last season. The right-hander has been versatile for Francona over the past few seasons. He pitched in relief in 2020, going 2-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 10 games, including four starts.
NOTES: Bieber made his final start before Thursday’s season opener, striking out nine in 5 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on Saturday. Afterward, he said there were no ”in-depth” talks with the Indians during camp about a contract extension. With the season about to start, Bieber said any discussions may be put off until the offseason.
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