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Right-hander Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians agreed on a four-year contract worth around $22 million, capping the pitcher’s incredible rise and locking up another piece of a strong Indians rotation, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The deal includes Carrasco’s 2015 salary of around $2.34 million and tacks on three more seasons, running through Carrasco's first year of free agency. It also includes club options for two more seasons, potentially keeping Carrasco with the Indians through 2020. The agreement, which is pending a physical, comes a day after reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber agreed to a five-year extension with two club options.
A late bloomer like Kluber, the 28-year-old Carrasco was demoted to Triple-A by Cleveland in July 2013, the nadir of a long fall from top prospect to washout. He resurfaced in Cleveland’s bullpen at the beginning of the 2014 season, posted a 2.30 ERA and followed with a star turn over the final two months of the season: In his final 10 starts, Carrasco struck out 78, walked 11 and had a 1.30 ERA over 69 innings.
Cleveland is betting the breakout is real. Between Kluber and Carrasco, the Indians have guaranteed around $60 million to lock in their Nos. 1 and 2 starters over the last 24 hours, willing to give the pitchers the cost certainty they sought and potentially reap the upside of two high-end starters.
It’s a strategy the Indians pioneered in the mid-1990s, and the inclusion of two club options in both deals mirrors a trend around the game in which extensions come with a pair of options. Royals starter Yordano Ventura signed a similar deal this week: five years for $23 million with two club options.
With escalators in Carrasco’s deal, it’s maximum value could exceed $50 million, sources said. The option years are believed to be worth around $9 million to $10 million each, and escalators in the contract tied to awards could boost the final guaranteed year of the deal and option years well above $10 million each.
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