GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians have traded starting pitcher Adam Plutko to the Baltimore Orioles, both clubs confirmed on Saturday.
Cleveland received cash considerations as part of the deal. To make room on the roster for Plutko, Baltimore designated former Gold Glove infielder Yolmer Sanchez for assignment.
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A former 11th-round draft pick out of UCLA, Plutko made his Major League debut in 2016 before making his first start a year later. In parts of four seasons with the Tribe, he went 13-12 with a 5.05 ERA, most notably 7-5 with a 4.86 ERA across 109 1/3 innings in 2019. He was also a spot starter on the 2018 team that won the American League Central division title, but did not see action in the postseason.
Plutko began 2020 as a part of the Indians' rotation, but was sent to the bullpen after giving up seven runs in a start against the Detroit Tigers. Although he often showed a propensity for giving up home runs, he did improve in his relief role, earning a win and a save with a 1.69 ERA over the season's final month.
The 29-year-old Plutko was out of minor league options, meaning Cleveland would've had to place him on waivers if he did not make the 2021 big league roster. The Tribe still has four more cuts to make before Opening Day on Thursday, but the trade of Plutko likely opens the door for young starters like Triston McKenzie, Logan Allen, and Cal Quantrill.
"For everything you've done for our team and for the community, we thank you, @PapaPlut09," the organization tweeted in tribute to its now-former pitcher.