Life isn’t the same without baseball in our lives, especially here in Cleveland. For the past two seasons, the Indians have inspired hope within the fans, making them believe a world series ring is just around the corner. Indians GM Chris Antonetti has put together the best rotation in baseball, and has gathered some young studs in the field with the likes of Frankie Lindor, and José Ramírez; but this offseason has been anything but inspiring. This has been a rough winter break for the Tribe losing the beloved eight year veteran Carlos Santana to the Phillies, two time Indian, Joe Smith to the Astros, and not so beloved Bryan Shaw to the Colorado Rockies… but I’m not all too disappointed about losing Shaw. He might not have been my favorite Indian, but he was a workhorse in the pen, and his usage will be realistically all but impossible to replace. The only person Antonetti has acquired is 30 year old Yonder Alonso from the Mariners. Alonso is more of a low budget Santana, with most of his career high numbers coming from a ridiculous May, where he hit 10 of his 28 home runs on the season. Alonso is a slightly above average hitter, and he has been the only player the Indians have reeled in. To go along with not signing anyone, it doesn’t seem like the Tribe have any interest at keeping key free agents, Jay Bruce and Austin Jackson, who were vital down the stretch during their 22 game win streak. With all that being said, here’s the moves I think the Indians should make to finish the offseason, and be a title contender in a top loaded AL this upcoming season.
1.) Resign Austin Jackson
.317/.387/.482 or .273/.337/.505? Both of these slash lines are from Indians players in 2017. The first line is Austin Jackson, the second… Francisco Lindor! Jackson was only used as a right handed hitting Utility Man for the Tribe, but those numbers are that of an All Star. It might not be likely for the Indians to retain him, but his market value is lowering by the day, and maybe the Indians can keep him in Cleveland.
Img-“Ken Blaze” USA Today
2.) Sign Lindor long term
Francisco Lindor is locked up through the year 2021… holy crap, that’s only three years away. Lindor is a once in a lifetime player: silver slugger, platinum glove, infatuating personality, he’s the whole shebang. Three years might seem like a while a way, but since Frankie already turned down a 100 million dollar contract, his price tag just goes up and up and up. Sign him now and reassure your fanbase your not looking to compete just now, but for a long time to come.
Img-“CBS New York”
3.) Big time trade
The Dolans have finally debunked the rumor they don’t spend money. It all started with trading for Andrew Miller, and taking on his 21 million dollar deal. Next came the signing of ex-Toronto Blue Jay, Edwin Encarnacion for 3 years and 60 million. Finally, the Indians took the back end of Jay Bruce’s 51 million dollar deal. The Indians have a deep farm system and a pitching rotation that can run 7-8 men deep, it’s time to get the right package together and send a deal to the Orioles for Manny Machado, or any other big name hitter. It’s now or never for this Indians team and they have all the pieces in line to make a blockbuster deal.
These are just a few things the Indians need this offseason, and if they did any two of the tasks listed above, it would be a very successful winter on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
As Always GO TRIBE!
Author’s Twitter: @drew_thirion
Featured Img-“Akron Beacon Journal”