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2017 IBI Preview Capsule: Boone Logan

The Indians shored up their bullpen by signing veteran lefty Boone Logan to a 1-year deal to complement fellow southpaw Andrew Miller. Does Cleveland now have the strongest bullpen in the major leagues? The IBI's Jake Dungan examines just how Logan fortifies the pitching staff.

The IBI Preview Capsules are back for 2017 as Jake Dungan takes an in-depth look at all the players who could impact the Tribe in the upcoming season from the established stars to the prospects on the verge of being called up to the majors to the non-roster invites to spring training.

Boone Logan, LHP

Throws: Right -- Bats: Left -- Entering his age-32 season -- Contract: 1-year/$6.5 million deal with a team option for 2018 (Free agent in 2018-19)

2016 In Review: Boone Logan had his best overall statistical season in 2016 since joining the Rockies going 2-5 with a 3.69 ERA while holding left-handed hitters to just a .142 average in 119 plate appearances. The Indians needed a reliable lefty specialist in their bullpen to pair with super reliever Andrew Miller and, despite already signing top free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a lucrative contract earlier this winter, the Indians ownership and front office proved that they're committed to winning now and willing to push the envelope with their payroll to do it. Logan was arguably the best situational left-hander on the market parts of 11 big league seasons under his belt with the White Sox, Braves, Yankees and Rockies. Now he'll be in Cleveland befuddling left-handed hitters for at least the 2017 campaign.

Versus Right-handers: Like any matchup lefty, Logan is not getting paid for what he does against right-handed hitters. He'll have to face them now and then, but his exposure will be very limited. Last season, only 68 the 187 batters who came to the plate against the Texas native were right-handed. That being said, Logan actually didn't pitch too badly against them holding them to a .211 average. However, he did have 11 walks versus just 17 strikeouts against right-handers adding up to a 1.55 ratio, which aligns closely with his 1.48 career mark. Also, right-handed batters have hit .294 overall for his career, so don't expect changes to his role anytime soon.

Versus Left-handers: Logan has always been effective against left-handed hitters, but 2016 was impressive even by his standards as lefties slashed just .142/.222/.255 against him in 119 plate appearances with only nine walks and 40 strikeouts. And that's even with the infamous Coors Field effect being in play. By comparison, new teammate and fellow southpaw Andrew Miller, arguably the best reliever in baseball, had a .181/.189/.333 line last season against left-handers. The Indians have not had a lefty specialist with this kind of dominance and consistency since probably dating back to the days of Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez.

Pitch Mix: Between Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Andrew Miller, the Indians already have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the filthiest sliders in baseball as each have registered double-digit runs above average in their careers. Well, enter Boone Logan, whose slider was rated the ninth best in baseball at 15.7 runs above average last season, according to PITCHf/x, into that mix. That put him ahead of his new aforementioned teammates Miller (12.2) and Carrasco (5.6) and only behind Kluber (20.8), who had the fourth best slide piece among MLB pitchers in 2016. With that kind of value, Logan's slider is definitely his go-to offering, but he also features a fastball and changeup to set it up. Basically, if you're a left-handed hitter going up against Logan and he has two strikes on you, watch out.

Fantasy Impact: If you're looking to add a left-handed specialist to your bullpen, you won't have to go much further than Boone Logan to find the best of what the league has to offer. Add Terry Francona and the masterstrokes he has shown in the bullpen management game, particularly since the arrival of Andrew Miller, and you've got a winning combo where the 32-year-old's value could be maximized to the hilt. The only thing to be wary of with Logan is his opposing BABIP last season was only .221, so some regression to the mean can be expected. Fangraphs anticipates that with his opposing average jumping from .164 to as high as .224 (Depth Charts), but also sees a continuation of his effectiveness overall with a 2-2 record and 3.43 ERA along with similar strikeout and walk numbers as last year. Logan will join a loaded cast of relievers in the Tribe bullpen for 2017 where a case could be made for them being the best in baseball.

Summary: In the last six calendar months, the Indians have added arguably the best available reliever (Andrew Miller), the best available slugger (Edwin Encarnacion) and now the best available matchup lefty (Boone Logan). For a team that went all the way to extra innings of Game 7 of the World Series last year with only one of those guys on the roster, this is the definition of the term "bulking up". And it's not just adding big names to a pennant winning roster to make headlines and sell tickets, although they're certainly doing both. All three of these players were brought in to fill a specific area of need. Logan may be the best example of that as the Tribe has been looking for that bona fide situational left-hander in the bullpen for years. Plus, this move takes stress and potentially much-needed innings off Miller's arm as he will no longer be the go-to option in matchup situations. No one in baseball can be happier right now than Terry Francona to have all these weapons to choose from in the upcoming season.

Check out our other 2017 Preview Capsules here:

Jake Dungan is the Managing Editor for IBI and a podcast host on the Smoke Signals Network. Email him at jdungan@indiansbaseballinsider.com or follow him on Twitter @JakeDBaseball.


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