Carrasco returns to Guardians on minor league contract
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Carrasco is coming home to Cleveland.
The popular pitcher officially signed a minor league contract with the Guardians on Thursday, with an invitation to camp at spring training. Carrasco's return was reported previously by the AP and other media outlets last weekend.
The 36-year-old Carrasco will get a chance to make Cleveland’s roster in Arizona. If he does, Carrasco will get a $2 million base salary and a chance to earn another $2 million in starts. The team's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 12.
Carrasco spent 11 seasons with Cleveland before he was traded in the 2021 mega-deal that sent All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets. Carrasco went 88-73 with a 3.77 ERA in 242 games, 195 starts, with Cleveland.
Carrasco ranks fourth in club history with 1,305 strikeouts. He led the AL with 18 wins in 2017 and finished fourth in Cy Young voting.
Unfortunately, Carrasco wasn't part of Cleveland's World Series run in 2016 after he was struck by a line drive and fractured his right hand in a September game.
The right-hander is affectionately known as “Cookie” to Cleveland fans, who embraced Carrasco after the Venezuela native was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2019. Carrasco won the Roberto Clemente Award that year for his community efforts in Cleveland, Tampa and his home country.
After he was traded to New York, Carrasco went 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 61 starts. Carrasco made $14 million last season.
The top of Cleveland's rotation is set, but if Carrasco has a solid spring, he could give the club some depth. Carrasco has also pitched in relief and that versatility might make him worth keeping if he shows he can still get batters out.
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