Indians, reliever Wittgren agree to contract for 2021

White Sox Indians Baseball
Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 19:04:32-05

CLEVELAND — Reliever Nick Wittgren avoided salary arbitration with the Cleveland Indians by agreeing Tuesday to a $2 million, one-year contract.

The right-hander has become a dependable piece in Cleveland’s bullpen for manager Terry Francona.

Wittgren went 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in 25 games last season. He is 7-1 with a 2.99 ERA in 80 games over two seasons for Cleveland, which acquired him in a trade with Miami in 2019.

The Indians have primarily used Wittgren in a setup role, and that likely will continue despite the club deciding not to re-sign closer Brad Hand. Francona, though, has hinted about using others in save situations and Wittgren could be in that mix.

Wittgren was slated to make $1,125,000 in 2020, but he earned a prorated salary of $416,667 for the pandemic-shortened season.

The Indians have three players still eligible to swap arbitration figures Jan. 15 if no deal is reached: shortstop Francisco Lindor, catcher Austin Hedges and right-hander Phil Maton.