Oct 4, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar (31) delivers in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Option #3 Danny Salazar
Salazar is actually the most intriguing of the three, and I would think the least likely to be traded. This is due to the fact that Salazar is the youngest at age 26 (in 24 days), and thus has the least experience. In 60 starts, Salazar is 22-21, with a 3.66 ERA and 3.53 FIP, but what points to Salazar getting better is his career K/9 of 9.86 and decreasing walk rate.
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Salazar had been a bit of a fly ball pitcher until this past year when he posted a 43.9% ground ball rate. This past year was also his best year, as he finished the season with 3.0 fWAR.
Interestingly, Salazar changed his repertoire up a bit this year, as according to Fangraphs he stopped relying on his fastball a lot this year as his percentage went down to 51.3% after being in the high 60s the past two years.
This was due to Salazar utilizing his two seam fastball almost three times as much as had the previous year. This helped his change up value jump up to 13.6 runs above average, after being worth 2.4 runs above average the year before. So, it shows that Salazar is evolving and changing his repertoire, which also included a curveball for the first time.
All of this considered makes Salazar a good option to consider for the Cardinals, but I would expect the Indians would probably rather keep him and move one or both of the other two.
The Indians are an interesting team to keep an eye on for sure, as I could see the Cardinals being interested in all three of these guys, depending on what the price is. With Mozeliak’s comments on the Bernie Miklasz show earlier today, I don’t know that Mozeliak will be willing to pay the high price these three would likely require, but you never know.