Sports

Bauer, Indians agree to $3.55M deal, avoid arbitration

CLEVELAND — Not always in accord, Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians met in the middle on something.

The enigmatic right-hander, whose best season in the majors was tarnished by a post-season drone accident in 2016, avoided salary arbitration with the team by agreeing Thursday to a $3.55 million, one-year contract, more than double the $1,697,500 he earned last year.

Cleveland also came to agreement with reliever Dan Otero on a $1,055,000 deal for 2017.

Bauer, who turns 26 next week, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in a career-high 190 innings last year and was a valuable member of the rotation.

However, he went 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in four post-season starts, and sliced open the pinkie on his pitching hand while repairing one of his drones during the AL Championship Series. He had his start against Toronto pushed back because of the injury and then had to be pulled from an outing when his stitched wound opened and wouldn't stop bleeding in the first inning.

Bauer began the season in the bullpen and was the last Cleveland pitcher after relieving Bryan Shaw in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series.

It's taken some work, but the Indians are pleased with Bauer's progress in the two-plus seasons they've had him since he was acquired in a 2012 trade from Arizona. While Bauer prefers to follow his own unique training regime, the Indians have incorporated some of his methods into their program for pitchers.

Six Indians remain eligible for arbitration: Shaw, closer Cody Allen; pitchers Zach McAllister and Danny Salazar and outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer.

One of the AL's steadiest relievers, Shaw is entering his final year before free agency. Allen, who had 32 saves in 34 tries, can become a free agent after the 2018 season.

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