5. Decline Hand
Brad Hand, brought into to fortify the Indians bullpen for the postseason a la Andrew Miller, will be remembered for failing to close out the Yankees in Game 2 of the Wild Card round.
Due to make $17.5 million next season if his option is picked up, the Dolans will almost certainly say “Adios” to their closer.
Hand was acquired for top prospect Francisco Mejia before the 2018 deadline and he was good for the Tribe, recording 58 saves in his 2 1/2 season as a closer.
That said, I feel he wasn’t as dominant as he was with the Padres. I think he flashed that reputation in the first half of 2019, earning an All-Star nod, but he got worse as the season progressed, as everyone started to wonder why his fastball was losing velocity.
Interestingly, while Hand was plucked to be the next Miller, he was terrible in the postseason. In three playoff games, Hand posted a 15.43 ERA and a 3.4 WHIP!
Francisco Mejia has failed to get his big-league career on track, so the Indians won the trade by virtue of Hand’s regular-season stats, but his failure in the postseason will be his lasting legacy.