In the span of four hours, the Cleveland Indians dodged a pair of arbitration cases by agreeing to terms with an effective bullpen arm.
Dan Otero joined Trevor Bauer as the second player to sign a one-year contract with the Indians on Thursday afternoon, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The two parties settled on a deal totaling $1.055 million for the 2017 campaign.
With two names crossed off their list of arbitration-eligible players, the Tribe will now direct their attention toward signing Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Guyer, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister prior to Friday's deadline.
Otero emerged in 2016 and placed himself atop the relief pitching ranks by notching the third lowest ERA (1.53) in the MLB behind Baltimore's Zach Britton (0.54) and Cleveland's Andrew Miller (1.54). In his 62 outings, the 31-year-old veteran featured a 57:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 70.2 frames of work.
The Indians are hopeful that Otero can sustain his role as a middle-inning reliever and join the likes of McAllister, Shaw, Miller and Allen in what figures to be another juggernaut of bullpen hurlers.
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.