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Indians exercise 2018 club options for Michael Brantley and Josh Tomlin

Ryan Lewis, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Baseball

It is still a convoluted situation, but not one the Indians can yet map out with free agency looming.

"I think first and foremost we just want Michael to get healthy and continue his rehab this offseason and as he gets further in that process, we can begin thinking about alternatives and where he may fit best on the team," Antonetti said. "I think the one thing we know is he's a really productive offensive player when he's on the field and in the batter's box and that he's got some versatility."

Antonetti added that Kipnis hasn't yet been given much direction as to his 2018 position, either.

"We have a variety of different ways we can configure our roster," Antonetti said. "Some of that will be dependent upon what other alternatives are out there for us to improve our team. I said when we connected at the end of the season, Kip deserves a great deal of credit for the work he put in to have that versatility."

The decision to pick up Tomlin's option was likely an easy one, as $3 million for a capable starting pitcher is well below market value. Even with Tomlin, the Indians now have options with their rotation thanks to Mike Clevinger's strong end to the season, so it isn't yet clear in what role he'll pitch next year.

"I think the one thing we know about Josh is he's capable of contributing in a variety of roles, and he is the ultimate teammate," Antonetti said. "The only thing he cares about is finding a way to contribute to help the team win the World Series. He'll go into camp, obviously, as a starting pitcher, but if we need to adjust, and circumstances need to dictate that, we'll have a conversation with Josh and adjust accordingly."

The Indians still have one decision to make as it relates to club options, that being reliever Boone Logan's $7 million option for next season.

That decision might have been muddied by Tyler Olson's terrific showing in which he didn't allow a run in 30 appearances, giving the Indians another option -- one much cheaper than Logan -- as a second left-hander to join Andrew Miller.

(c)2017 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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