the Cleveland Indians created many incredible moments and memories throughout their 2017 regular season. despite that, the team seemingly took a step backwards by not even making it out of the first round of the playoffs. so now i'm going to look ahead and try to figure out what the Tribe's needs are and who they should aim to acquire in order to not only get back to the World Series, but hopefully win it in 2018.
the Indians have most of their core players under contract for next season, which is great news. on the contrary, they did lose a couple key guys to free agency who must be replaced. that's where the front office comes in. a few pieces are all that's really required to complete the roster; however, determining if there's anyone internally that can fill their needs or if they'll have to go outside the organization to find what they seek will be no small task. some of these decisions may not be made or finalized until February. as we're waiting, i'm going to take on the role of the general manager and see what i can come up with.
this blog contains the following:
--Indians players already on the 2018 roster
--players the Indians have lost to free agency
--contract extension ideas
--the approximate 2018 payroll
--Tribe needs for 2018
--players within the organization who could be used in a trade
--Major League players on the free agent market who could be viable options to acquire
--coaching staff changes
feel free to scroll through the topics and read what you like!📖
if you didn't get a chance to read or finish reading my Analyzing the Tribe's 2017 Season + Postseason blog with my player evaluations and recaps on how all the Indians performed this past season, then you might want to do that now to refresh your memory before you begin this post.
note: this blog reflects any Indians/MLB offseason signings and moves made through 12 pm on November 24.
Guaranteed Contracts for 2018
after constructing a team in 2017 that boasted the largest payroll in franchise history, the payroll for 2018 is going to be even higher. right now, they're looking at upwards of $120 million just for the players they'll be retaining and not including any new guys. i can't see them making another significant free agent signing like they did last offseason, but you never know. i'll explore all the potential targets we could pursue later. first, i want to calculate the salaries the Indians already have locked down for next year.
let's take a look at the 12 guaranteed contracts* for 2018. (i pulled these salaries from baseball-reference.com.)
Edwin Encarnacion - $18.667 million
Jason Kipnis - $13,666,667
Michael Brantley - $12 million
Corey Kluber - $10.7 million
Andrew Miller - $9 million
Carlos Carrasco - $8 million
Yan Gomes - $5.95 million
Josh Tomlin - $3 million
Jose Ramirez - $2,828,600
Brandon Guyer - $2.75 million
Roberto Perez - $1.625 million
the $1 million buyout they owe Chris Johnson as part of
the terms of sending Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn to the Atlanta
Braves on August 7, 2015. (source: Zack Meisel.) so while they're responsible for 12 salaries, there are only 11 roster spots set in this group.
that's a total of $89,187,267, which is an increase of $20,445,600 from the guaranteed contracts in place going into last year's offseason.😲
Arb Eligible Players
in the arb eligible group, there are 7 players:
Cody Allen, Abraham Almonte, Trevor Bauer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, and Danny Salazar.
barring a trade, i'm going to assume that the Indians will tender contracts to everyone
here and that they'll all make the 25-man Opening Day roster.
going over what these seven players made in 2017 and weighing that against their
performance and future value to the team, i came up with what i felt
were appropriate salary increases for 2018. MLB Trade Rumors has an estimated $34.4 million for the seven players. i was not that generous and ended up with a total of $30.95 million.
estimated total payroll so far: $120,137,267
roster total: 18 players
this year, Francisco Lindor, Yandy Diaz, Tyler Naquin, and Shawn Armstrong are our 4 pre-arb eligible players with a Major League contract that has expired. at this time, i don't think all four of these guys will be making the OD 2018 roster. pre-arb players usually get about
the same as they did in their previous season or near the league minimum. according to Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com, the league min for 2018 is set for $545,000. Lindor is liable to receive more than that going by his 2017 salary ($579,300). presuming he and one other player in this category (probably Diaz) start out on the team next year, i will approximate a total of $1.145 million for two guys in this group.
estimated total payroll so far: $121,282,267
roster total: 20 players
this is where things are tougher to predict. as was revealed above, the league minimum for 2018 is $545,000, though some players could earn more depending on service time. presently, we don't know for sure who all from our organization will be on the OD roster from this monetary category. besides that, someone could be acquired during the offseason who signs a minor league deal and then makes the roster and earns the league min. or perhaps somebody else we sign to a big league deal could take the spot of someone that otherwise would have been on the roster and making the league min.
the main players who finished the year with the Indians and would potentially be making the league minimum should they open on the big league 25-man roster include: Bradley Zimmer, Tyler Olson, Nick Goody, Erik Gonzalez, Giovanny Urshela, and Mike Clevinger. my best guess is Zimmer and Olson are the only two locks at this time. so that's all i'm going to consider here. going by that, i calculate $1,090,000 in this group.
estimated total payroll so far: $122,372,267
roster total: 22 players
now let's take a look at our free agents. we've got Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, Austin Jackson, Joe Smith, Jay Bruce, Craig Breslow, and Boone Logan. i'm going to speak on each of these
Carlos Santana turned into an extraordinary 1st baseman, recently winning a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for his performance in 2017. he's been with the Indians since 2010 and even though he said Cleveland is his home and he wants to return, the reality of that is not looking good at the moment. on November 6, the Indians extended a $17.4 million qualifying offer to Santana and on November 16, it was announced that he officially declined it. he is definitely in line for a multi-year deal and his name has been linked with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies. should he sign with one of them or anyone else, the Tribe is going to have a gaping hole over at 1st. (i'm sorry, but Michael Brantley is not the answer there.)
Bryan Shaw has been a bullpen mainstay with the Tribe since 2013. he had another remarkable season and was tied for making the most MLB appearances. he's pitched in at least 74 games in each of his last four seasons and led the AL in appearances three of the last four years. the Indians did not extend a QO to Shaw, but he is going to get paid for his durability somewhere else, i know that. right now, the Mets are very interested in him. he will be missed.
outfielder Austin Jackson was signed to a minor league deal with a spring invite on January 25 and the terms were if he made the Indians' roster, he would earn a $1.5 million base with up to $4 million in incentives. it was a low risk, high reward signing of a guy attempting to come back from a torn left meniscus. his knee was never an issue, but he did suffer a hyperextended left big toe and left quad strain. despite that, he was an imperative part of the outfield after several other regular OFs went down with injuries and he put together a quality season. i haven't heard his name being linked to any teams in the rumor mill yet, but i won't be surprised if he signs a multi-year deal somewhere (not with us though) over the offseason.
reliever Joe Smith and the Indians reunited on July 31 after minor league left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannone and 2nd baseman Samad Taylor were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. while i didn't know if giving up Pannone was worth a two-month rental, Smitty looked just like i remembered him--dependable and effective. i'm not sure what kind of contract he's looking for or if we'll be able to re-sign him.
right fielder Jay Bruce joined the Tribe on August 9 because both Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall were on the disabled list with injuries. the Indians traded Lake County Captains' right-handed pitcher Ryder Ryan to the Mets and paid $3.7 million for Bruce. he more than did his job while here, but unless things change, that five-year, $80-90 million deal the 30-year old is seeking is not going to bring him back to Cleveland.
reliever Craig Breslow was signed to a minor league deal on August 4 and the Indians kept him in Columbus until August 26. i don't see him returning, nor do i see this as a loss overall.
reliever Boone Logan had a $7 million club option for 2018, but the Indians declined it and instead gave him a $1 million buyout, making him a free agent on November 6. he was originally signed by the Tribe in early February to a one-year, $5.5 million deal. unfortunately, Logan strained his left latissimus dorsi muscle in July and didn't pitch again. he opted against having surgery, so there's no telling if he'll be fully healthy next year or if he will end up needing surgery after all. the Indians willingly let him go and he's not coming back.
without retaining any of the above to the ML roster, estimated total payroll so far: $122,372,267
roster total: 22 players
i've got 3 open roster spots and a 2018 payroll over $120 million
already. i don't know how much money the front office has left to spend, but i'm not expecting any big free agent signings to go down this offseason. the roster will fill out with players from trades (in which case that could also open up more spots), the bargain bin of free agency, and/or someone we pick up from waivers. as always, the Indians will be handing out several invites to spring training and one of those could prove to be an excellent addition to the club, while the rest either start their years in Triple A Columbus or get released to find an ML job elsewhere.
Free Agents I Want To Re-Sign🖊
my number one priority would be bringing back Carlos Santana. he's the 1st baseman that the Indians have been looking for for years. without him at that corner and his bat in the lineup, we'll be losing a lot. i want him back, but i suspect the Tribe won't be able to compete with what some other teams are going to offer him.
i'm open to signing Joe Smith again. you always know what you're gonna get from the sidewinder and i believe he could partially fill the void that we're going to have without Bryan Shaw.
Players Who Are Definitely Outta Here💨
i wish there was a way to bring back Bryan Shaw, but i don't see that happening.
Austin Jackson, Craig Breslow, and Boone Logan have all also seen their time in this organization come to an end.
let me take a minute to break down the Jay Bruce situation because i know a lot of fans want him to return. right now, his asking price is too high and he wants more years than the Indians should commit. besides that, our existing outfield is crowded enough as it is. inviting him back into the mix is going to force a lot of guys to play out of position. Lonnie Chisenhall in left field or at 1st base? Jason Kipnis in left field? Michael Brantley at 1st base or DH? all those guys learning new spots is how you want your season to start off? that's a bit risky if you're looking to put your best defensive alignment on the field. assuming all our "walking wounded" are healthy going into 2018, i doubt we'll even miss Bruce that much. i'd be stunned to see him in our lineup on March 29.
Who Wants a Contract Extension?📄
last year, i started this section off with Francisco Lindor. well, it was disclosed that the Indians did offer him a substantial extension that was rumored to be worth around $100 million. and Lindor didn't sign. so if the two parties talk about a deal again this offseason, i'm not sure how it would go any differently. Lindor's under control through 2021 and has three arbitration years coming up. i know the Tribe would love to cut those out and sign him to an extension now, but it seems improbable.
so who's the next biggest extension candidate? it might be Trevor Bauer. yeah. after some roller coaster seasons, Bauer appears to be hitting his peak years. he won't become a free agent until 2021, but i would try to extend him now to avoid arbitration and keep him in the organization for a little longer, before he begins to become too expensive.
i've been putting out several general Tribe blogs lately, but y'all know my roots. and i wouldn't be me if i didn't make a push to keep my boy, Michael Brantley. that said, i'm fully aware that extending him is not even an option at this point. had he not injured his ankle and undergone surgery, then this would have been realistic. regardless, i had to mention it anyway. this is Brant's last season with the Tribe, and i will be as invested in him as i've ever been.
who would you like to see the Indians sign to a long-term contract? let me know in a comment below!
they extend anyone, that will further increase that player's salary for 2018 and
add to the team's total payroll. but for now, everything is the same as above.
estimated total payroll so far: $122,372,267
roster total: 22 players
2018 Tribe Needs
time to write out my offseason wish list.
specific Tribe needs for 2018 include:
--a 1st baseman
--a right-handed OF who can play all positions (w/ CF as a specialty)
--a reliever or two
--a right-handed power bat for the middle of the order
--a starting pitcher for more depth
--a 3rd baseman
some of these can be filled internally after the club makes their roster decisions. some can be filled with just one player as well. i'd prefer a right-handed outfielder who can play each position and also hit both right-handed pitchers and left-handers. and it's possible that we could find a right-handed power bat for the order who also plays 1st base. besides that, i'd like another starter whom we could keep down in Columbus until one of the current starters gets hurt. so we don't necessarily need 6 or 7 more guys to complete the ML roster, which is good because there aren't that many spots open.
also keep in mind, my needs don't seem to be the same as the Indians'. i've heard they're looking for more corner outfielders and not a CF. (well then who's going to play center against lefty starters?) they are shopping for a 1st baseman, possibly a 3rd baseman, and relievers as well. so we'll soon see who and what all they're going to be able to get.
Current 2018 Team Construction
now i'm going to list out our roster according to position and see exactly where we have unoccupied spots. unless someone is used in a trade, or injures himself before Opening Day, or doesn't end up on the OD roster, then i have projected 22 committed roster spots versus 3 open spots. in the Indians' effort to fill up the squad, players will be acquired by either minor league/non-roster spring invites, waiver claims, and/or trades.
note: i am expecting all the players who ended the 2017 season with an injury to be fully healthy and ready for Opening Day 2018.
left field: Michael Brantley, Abraham Almonte, Brandon Guyer, Jason Kipnis?, Lonnie Chisenhall?
center field: Bradley Zimmer, Almonte, Kipnis?, Chisenhall?
right field: Chisenhall, Guyer, Almonte
other OF possibilities: Jose Ramirez, Yandy Diaz
waiting in Columbus for a call up: Tyler Naquin, Greg Allen, Richie Shaffer, Mike Papi
our outfield is probably the most unsettled section on the field right now. as you can see, i am going off the assumption that Brantley will be back and playing his regular position in left field. i've been arguing this for weeks, but i truly don't
know how you can expect someone who's still gonna be rehabbing in
spring and not playing a full spring to also essentially re-learn a VERY old
position, aka 1st base, that he's never played in the majors and hasn't played
since 2008 in Double A, mind you. so yes, i'm leaving Brant in left. Zimmer is going to be the main center fielder, although he wasn't in the lineup much versus lefties in 2017, so he might need a platoon partner, in which case we really only have Almonte for that because i'm not seeing Allen making the OD roster, nor do i think Kip should play in CF anymore. and the combo of Chiz and Guyer in right should be back in full effect.
as for the other possibilities, they seem much less likely, as Ramirez has found a home on the infield now, and i've already read that the Indians want Diaz to focus exclusively on playing 3rd base. i'm thinking, if we need anything, we need someone who can hit lefties and play center field.
into account the 25-man roster commitments at the moment and our
immediate team needs, i'd say this is an area where we have 1 open spot to fill.
1st base: Edwin Encarnacion, Brantley?, Chisenhall?
2nd base: Kipnis, Ramirez
shortstop: Lindor, Ramirez
3rd base: Ramirez, Diaz
other IF possibilities: Giovanny Urshela, Erik Gonzalez, Drew Maggi
waiting in Columbus: Nellie Rodriguez, Eric Stamets, Rob Refsnyder
the biggest area of need is obviously at 1st base. Encarnacion could probably play a fourth of the games there, but he definitely should not be our every day 1st baseman. i don't like Brantley and Chiz as every day options over there either. the Indians think Brantley can be a regular 1st baseman,
a guy who hasn't played a lick of 1st in the big leagues, hasn't played
1st since the 53 games he played in the minor leagues (Single & Double A) in 2007 and 2008, and who's coming back from a right ankle
sprain and is projected to miss a large portion of spring training. yet they feel Chiz, who actually has ML experience there, should not be playing 1st. facepalm. there's a plethora of options available to us for 2nd, short, and 3rd, and regardless of who plays where, 1st is gonna remain unoccupied if the Indians are unable to offer free agent Carlos Santana what he wants. we need to acquire an experienced 1st baseman, somehow.
in our infield, we have 1 open spot to fill.
Behind the plate:
catcher: Yan Gomes, Roberto Perez
other possibilities: none
waiting in Columbus: Francisco Mejia
while we don't have a need for a catcher at the Major League level, we probably will invite a couple to spring with intentions of keeping one in Columbus.
we have 0 open spots to fill here.
other possibilities: anybody
the DH for any game normally depends on whose bats Terry Francona wants
in the lineup and who all has to be at set positions in the field. but really, Encarnacion is going to be the main designated hitter. we don't need to assign a full-time player to this role. anyone we have or who joins the team this offseason can DH when he needs a semi-day off to rest his legs or if he's working his way back from a stint on the disabled list.
we have 0 open spots to fill here.
Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, and Trevor Bauer
other possibilities: Mike Clevinger, Ryan Merritt
waiting in Columbus: Shawn Morimando, Adam Plutko, Cody Anderson?
for a second straight season, barring a spring injury, we have our starting five in place. now you might be wondering if Salazar is going to be used as a starter next year and i believe he absolutely will. at least for the beginning, anyway. they need to give him another chance and if he can't pitch consistently well or stay healthy, then maybe he'll need to be moved to the bullpen. but this is one area of our team that is not currently in flux.
should we need a spot starter or someone to pitch a couple games while another guy is injured, we have some depth down in Columbus. the only question mark is Anderson because he's still working his way back from the Tommy John surgery he had in March. he might not be a realistic option for us until September and, after being out for so long, he could be eased into things and get his feet wet again by coming out of the bullpen. so it certainly wouldn't hurt to go out and acquire another starter or two.
we're not in the market for a #1 pitcher, that's for sure. be that as it may, inviting a veteran with big league experience or perhaps a reclamation project to spring training and storing him down in Columbus would be wise. then we can bring him up if/as needed. you can never have too much starting pitching! we have learned this throughout the years. but you also should not change the roles of too many starters by relegating them to the bullpen late in the season/in the playoffs either. let's hope Francona got that memo.
we have 0 open spots
to fill in our rotation.
going on the assumption that all the
arb eligible players are tendered contracts, i figure our bullpen has
the following 5 players locked into spots:
Cody Allen, Andrew Miller, Zach McAllister, Dan Otero, and Tyler Olson
other possibilities: Nick Goody, Shawn Armstrong, Jeff Beliveau, Leonel Campos
waiting in Columbus: Joe Colon, Perci Garner, Bryan Price, Louis Head
the construction of our pen is looking a bit confusing right now because i think we have five guys who are making the OD roster undoubtedly. but what about Goody? he could also easily be starting the year with the Tribe in 2018 and be reliever #6. so then we'd have at least one more spot open, if we're going with the classic 7-man bullpen. and while it's true there are other arms in Columbus who could help out, i'm inclined to think the Indians will want at least one outsider, someone potentially with vet experience, to add to the group.
Beliveau and Campos were already signed and invited to camp, and i expect many more FA relief pitchers to get invites as well. those who don't make the club out of spring will either get released or be stashed down in Columbus. history tells us that several relievers in Triple A are going to make their way up to Cleveland sometime anyway, either when the team needs a fresh arm, or when someone goes on the disabled list and Tito wants extra reinforcements in the pen. our bullpen saw 13 different relievers pitch in 2017, not counting the occasional starter who joined the crew. i'm sure that will happen again.
as far as needing to acquire someone from outside the organization, i'll go minimal and say we have 1 open spot to fill here in the bullpen.
i approximated 22 roster spots already taken, so what it all boils down to is we have 3 slots left, and i've divided up those immediate needs between one outfielder, one infielder, and one reliever. in an unpopular opinion, i hope to the baseball gods that all those players are brought in from the outside, but who knows what the Indians front office is going to do. there's a good chance that a few of my roster guesstimates end up being wrong. (many more) spring invites should be getting handed out as early as December, so we'll find out who our potential new Tribesmen might be soon!
do you agree with my assessments? let me know what positions you think we need to acquire players for in the comments!
To Trade or Not To Trade💱
i think the Indians are going to need to make at least one trade this offseason in order to fulfill one of their needs. and this time around, they may have to take someone from a place of abundance on the Major League roster in order to get the level of return that they desire. so who could we trade? let's go through some options.
if the Indians were trying to get a deal done and the only hold up was including Danny Salazar, the team might do it. as much as i still believe Salazar can be a successful part of our rotation, if there's an opportunity to get say a big bat in our lineup, i'd probably be on board with this.
Jason Kipnis. ugh. where does this guy fit anymore? if Terry Francona wants Jose Ramirez to play 2nd base, which apparently he does, then Kip has to move to the outfield. problem is, a healthy Bradley Zimmer is going to play in center field when there's no left-handed starter on the mound. so center is out. Kip is not going to be a platoon player, nor is he going to play in right field. that leaves left field. and that means my boy, Michael Brantley, gets the shaft and has to move out of position and play 1st base. the guy recovering from ankle surgery, who has not played at 1st base since 2008. this is a good idea? if Josey has to play 2nd now, then i'd throw Kipnis' name out there on the trade circuit. i'm sorry.
a somewhat shocking candidate could also be Yan Gomes. and that's more because Roberto Perez has emerged as a front-running catcher. as far as Tito is concerned, he's not looking for major offensive production from his guys behind the plate (though both combined for 94 RBI this past season). he's more focused on them calling games and working well with his pitchers. towards the end of 2017, Perez had all but taken over the every day catcher role. granted, their next prospective catcher is Francisco Mejia, who's probably not ready to take on Major League catching duties. but for the first time since we acquired him, i could see Gomes being used in a trade if necessary.
one of our 3rd basemen, Yandy Diaz or Giovanny Urshela, may also be subject to a trade. i know that's not exactly a position of strength for the Tribe, but can we really keep both, namely Gio, if the team finally wants to commit to playing Diaz full-time at the hot corner? i don't know.
that's about all from the immediate team. now let's run through some guys in Columbus and Akron.
Tyler Naquin went from being a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2016 to hardly playing at all with the Tribe in 2017. he started out as a center fielder, but is now mostly playing as a right fielder because the team thinks that's what he is best suited for. i just don't know if there's a place here for him anymore, so he could be a trade candidate.
Ryan Merritt hasn't pitched a whole lot with Cleveland yet, but from what we've seen so far, he can handle himself very well. would the Indians consider trading him in order to get a bat? he doesn't have any options left to be stored down in Columbus for 2018, so the club's going to be facing quite the predicament with Merritt unless they make him a Major League reliever. they might choose to include him in a deal in order to receive something for him instead of losing him on waivers and getting nothing back.
Mike Clevinger could be of interest to other teams also, but would the front office pull the trigger on a deal involving him?
Cody Anderson and Shawn Morimando are probably less likely to be highly sought after--Anderson because he hasn't fully recovered from Tommy John surgery yet, and Morimando because he has limited Major League experience. but i wouldn't rule out either to be used in a trade.
what about utility man Erik Gonzalez? he can play many positions around the diamond and could be someone the Indians put on the table to trade.
anybody like Eric Stamets? he's definitely not someone who's high on the Indians' priority list as far as being added to the 25-man roster because they've already got another guy playing shortstop who's pretty good at it... what's his name? oh yeah, Francisco Lindor lol Stamets could go if need be.
an up and comer that might intrigue teams around the league is Greg Allen. i personally would be reluctant to part ways with Allen now, as i think he's going to be an important member of our outfield in the future.
one name i heard that was circulating around the GM Meetings was Shane Bieber. he got promoted to Double A Akron in the middle of this past year and is already looking quite promising as a pitcher.
Double A 1st baseman Bobby Bradley is a player who could be on someone's radar. however, the Tribe isn't really set at 1st base anymore and should probably hold on to Bradley for a call up around 2019.
Yu-Cheng Chang is another shortstop in the system who's at a disadvantage with us due to Lindor. dealing Chang could be smart and helpful.
finally, i wouldn't be surprised to see any of the following Single A pitchers' names in a deal: Triston McKenzie, Brady Aiken, and Juan Hillman. i'd try to keep McKenzie though because i think he's going to be something else once he gets to the majors.
so there's a lot of choices here, but it'll all depend on what other teams are looking for/offer in return and if the front office feels like it's a fair trade. i never attempt to predict who the Indians might inquire about and how they could realistically make a deal happen, mainly cause i'm bad at that. but if you have any ideas on what it would take to bring someone like, say, Giancarlo Stanton to the Tribe, or anyone else, please let me hear them!😁
Free Agent Market
now it's time for me to browse through the MLB free agent market. once again, i feel we need to focus on acquiring an outfielder, infielder, and reliever,
with the two position players preferably being right-handed or switch-hitters. still, i am going to list other players here who i think the Indians may want to sign to a one-year/minor league deal or who could be brought in if somebody currently on the team does get traded. those may include older, veteran type guys, reclamation projects, or guys who played for Terry Francona already in his early days as a manager.
that said, i will be excluding eight of the nine players who rejected the $17.4 million qualifying offer from their previous ballclub. those guys are Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland, and Lance Lynn. though it happened last offseason and impressed me when it did, i don't think the Indians will be so eager to sign any of these players that they'd relinquish another 1st round draft pick.
--Jim Adduci. after playing in Korea for two years, this left-hander came back to the big leagues last season. he can play the corners, is 32, and could come in on a minor league deal. i'd prefer a right-handed bat though.
--Gregor Blanco. this free agent will be 34 years old next month. he bats left-handed and doesn't hit for power. he can play all three OF positions, but has spent considerably more time in center and left field.
--Peter Bourjos. he's a right-hander, but doesn't provide much power with his bat. the 30-year old has experience everywhere in the outfield, but has mostly played center with some right field mixed in, and very little left. he could be a great option to platoon with Zimmer in center.
--Rajai Davis. a reunion with this righty could very much be in the works. he's 37 now, but his speed on the basepaths was greatly missed last year, as was his ability to hit left-handed pitching. he can play anywhere in the outfield, but we would only use him in center and left.
--Craig Gentry. this right-handed hitter is going to turn 34 years old next week. he plays mainly center field, but also left and right. he has almost no power, however, so he wouldn't be my first choice.
--Franklin Gutierrez. in a part-time role, i'd be all for bringing Frankie back. he'll be 35 in February, but he has been known to knock some balls out of the park with his right-handed bat. defensively, he's generally used in right field now, but also plays left field. he's not seen much in center anymore.
--Austin Jackson. i don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that we look into bringing A-Jax back. the right-handed 30-year old would be perfect to platoon with Zimmer in center field, though he can play left or right as needed. he had a great comeback season after knee surgery and because of that, he could receive better offers from other teams. we certainly won't be able to sign him to another minor league deal, so he might not be affordable now.
--John Jaso. the 34-year old played a lot of games in the outfield (right and left) last season, but can also play 1st base and used to be a catcher as well. in a good year, you'll probably get 10 home runs out of him. while he won't cost too much, he'd be another left-handed hitter.
--Cameron Maybin. here's another right-handed center fielder who's a candidate for splitting time with Zimmer. in 2017, he also played in the OF corners. he'll be 31 in April, so he's not that old yet, but he's an up and down kind of hitter and may want a salary that he doesn't exactly warrant.
--Leonys Martin. the 23-year old was granted free agency earlier this month. he's primarily a center fielder, but has played a little right and left. though he doesn't have much power, i'd be fine with bringing this guy here--if not for his left-handed bat, that is.
--Daniel Nava. he's a switch-hitter who plays the corners of the outfield as well as some 1st base. he spent a lot of time in the minors last season and will be 35 at the start of spring training. like most of the guys i'm listing here, he's not overpowering at the plate. even so, it could be worth extending an invite to camp and keeping him in Triple A if there's no immediate need for him.
--Alex Presley. this 32-year old lefty has spent the majority of his career in left field, but has played some center and right. he doesn't have power and would be considered a 4th or 5th type of outfielder.
--Colby Rasmus. he actually hits home runs, but he bats left-handed. he can be found mostly in center field as opposed to left or right. at 31 years old, i think he'd be within the budget. but again, he's kinda batting on the wrong side of the plate for us.
--Ben Revere. this is an interesting free agent OF who can play anywhere. yes, he's another lefty and really doesn't have any power, but he's got a track record of being a good hitter in the past. he also used to be a legitimate base stealer. i wouldn't get my hopes up about a deal happening between the Indians and the 29-year old Revere though.
--Shane Robinson. he always ends up on my FA list because he's not going to cost the team an arm and a leg. the Indians invited him to spring in 2016 and later released him. he's a prototypical OF who plays all three positions, is 33, and bats right-handed. while he'd be good for Columbus, the Indians need a more impactful batter than this.
--Seth Smith. this 35-year old lefty has some decent power. he's a left and right fielder, but i'd imagine his projected price would need to come down in order for the Tribe to bite on him.
--Ichiro Suzuki. the 44!-year old left-hander has played way more right field than left or center in his very long career. the production has decreased over the years, but he's still playing a full season, showing he's incredibly durable. if he doesn't retire, then he'll likely go to a team where he can be a starting OF.
--Chris Young. now here's a right-hander who might be open to platooning in the outfield. he's 34 and while he doesn't play as much center as he used to, that could have been a result of team need versus performance problems. the free agent can play anywhere and has some pop. i think this could be a good match...
--Eric Young, Jr. this switch-hitter plays mostly left field with some center and right, and he also has experience at 2nd base. the 32-year old does not hit for power and has played quite a bit in the minors. he could be signed to a minor league deal with spring invite.
FA 1st basemen:
--Carlos Santana. he's not first alphabetically, but he has to be first on my list in the category. this problem all goes away if the Indians can lure 31-year old Santana back to the team. he supposedly did not want to leave, yet would not accept a QO from the Tribe. his switch-hitting capability is going to be desirable to every club out there in need of a 1st baseman. (unfortunately,) i think he'll get a big time offer from another team that we cannot match.
--Yonder Alonso. the 30-year old is a left-handed hitter, but could be within the Tribe's funds. he also had a power surge in the last year that may very well help make up for some of the production we'll lose if Santana is not retained.
--Lucas Duda. he can play some OF positions as well as 1st, but he's another lefty. besides that, until he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays before the trade deadline at the end of July, the 31-year old had spent all of his career in the National League with the Mets (since 2010). so it might not be the best choice bringing a lifelong National Leaguer to the AL.
--Adam Lind. this 34-year old is the quintessential 1st baseman/DH who bats left-handed and can also play left field. while he'll be affordable, i think we can do better.
--James Loney. last year he got moved around a few times, aka signed and released, and never even played one big league game. so he'll come cheap, but his downsides include he's not a power bat, a left-handed bat at that, and he's 34. pass.
--Mitch Moreland. this left-handed hitter can also play right field. the 32-year old will be good for 20-ish home runs, but he has a high strikeout rate, too. he most likely wouldn't break the bank. personally, i'd rather we sign a right-hander.
--Logan Morrison. he's 30 years old and can play the corners of the outfield, but he's yet another left-handed bat on the market. he's probably due for a salary increase from last season since he hit 38 home runs, more than twice his single-season career high, although the increase in homers came with a career high in strikeouts as well. he might be out of our league/price range.
--Mike Napoli. though a disappointment in the 2016 postseason, 36-year old Nap's right-handed bat, experience at 1st base, and veteran leadership would certainly be welcomed back in Cleveland. at this time, however, i don't think the Indians have even begun to talk to his agent.
--Danny Valencia. he's become more of a 1st baseman now, but started in
the league at 3rd base. he can play the corners of the outfield,
too. he bats right-handed, is 33, and should be in the Tribe's budget/someone they highly consider.
FA 3rd basemen:
--Yunel Escobar. if we're in need of a backup/platoon 3rd baseman, he could be a cheap option. he's right-handed, recently turned 35, and can also play short.
--Ryan Flaherty. this 31-year old left-hander can play a variety of positions including 3rd, 2nd, short, and the OF corners. not a powerful bat, but he would provide some depth on the bench or in the minors.
--Eduardo Nunez. he's a right-handed batter who's seen a lot of time
at 3rd in the last couple years, but also plays short and 2nd base. he's
30 years old and would be a great addition.
--Trevor Plouffe. this 31-year old
right-hander mainly plays 3rd, but can be used elsewhere, like at short, 2nd, 1st, left,
and right. so he's a utility man basically, but he doesn't hit for
power, which should make him fairly inexpensive.
--Mark Reynolds. think a reunion could happen? he's a 3rd baseman as well as a 1st baseman who bats right-handed. lately he has been playing more at 1st though. he still has some pop in that bat and at age 34, he should be affordable.
--Erick Aybar. he's a switch hitter, 33 years old, and plays both short and 2nd. definitely wouldn't break the bank, but he's probably not a realistic option since we already have another switch-hitting shortstop who's going to play every day unless he's injured.
--Stephen Drew. he's mostly played shortstop in his
career, but was seeing more time at 2nd and 3rd in the last three years.
the veteran lefty will be 35 when the season starts and should only cost a
--Jose Reyes. he's mainly a shortstop, but also plays a little 3rd and 2nd base. the switch-hitter is
34 years old and played all but two and a half of his 14-year career in
the National League. this free agent is in for a massive salary
--Ruben Tejada. he bats right-handed and is only 28. this FA plays short, 2nd, and 3rd and could be a good bench player for us.
FA 2nd basemen:
--Darwin Barney. he's a versatile 32-year old right-hander who can play 2nd, 3rd, short, and a little bit of left field. he doesn't hit for power though, which would keep his price down.
--Johnny Giavotella. he's strictly a 2nd baseman,
30 years old, and bats right-handed. he has almost no power and played in the minors a lot in 2016 and 2017. it might be beneficial to have him down in Columbus just in case we need him.
--Cliff Pennington. he used to chiefly play at short, but has seen most of his time in the field at 2nd base in the last few seasons. he can also be used at 3rd base and has very limited experience in left. he's a switch hitter, 33, and shouldn't cost much.
--Adam Rosales. in his career, he's played at 2nd,
short, 3rd, 1st, and even left field. the right-handed hitter is 34
years old. he's the ultimate utility man and since he won't put a big dent
in the payroll, the Indians could be intrigued.
--Chase Utley. while this left-handed hitter has played a little bit of 1st base in his career, he is by far and away a 2nd baseman. after 14 years in the majors, he has never played outside of the National League. would the free agent, who's going to turn 39 years old in December, consider a bench role with the Tribe?
--Alex Avila. i think we should sign another big league catcher who can be called up from Triple A if necessary. Avila may not be that guy though. he's a left-hander, plays a little 1st base, and will be 31 in January. so he's probably looking for a Major League job, whereas any catcher the Indians invite to camp has to know he's not making the ML roster.
--A.J. Ellis. he bats right-handed, but has never played in the
American League. he's currently 36 years old and is going to turn 37
shortly after the season begins. he could be the stash-in-Columbus type.
--Ryan Hanigan. i had this right-hander on my list last year. he's 37 now and might accept a minor role with the Tribe.
--Bryan Holaday. his 30th birthday just passed and he's another right-handed bat. he didn't play much in the majors last season so he might be looking to change that in 2018.
--Nick Hundley. he's a 34-year old righty, but is probably gonna want a starting catching role.
--Chris Iannetta. he'll be turning 35 in April. would the right-hander accept an invite from the Indians if both Gomes and Perez are still on the team? i doubt it.
--Ryan Lavarnway. he's only 30 years old, but hasn't ever really stuck as a catcher in the big leagues yet. he has limited experience at 1st base as well. i think he could be an option for Columbus.
--Jose Lobaton. this switch-hitter is 33 and would be affordable. he might be a favorable Triple A/secondary backup catcher.
--Brayan Pena. when the 2018 season starts, he'll be 36. he can play some 1st base and bats both right- and left-handed. the veteran did not play in the majors in 2017, but could prefer one more chance on a big league club.
--Rene Rivera. he's a 34-year old right-hander who might be okay spending the majority of his time with the Clippers.
--Jarrod Saltalamacchia. he switch hits, is 32, and has also played 1st base in his career. but he's probably going to seek out a team where he can play in the majors.
--Hector Sanchez. the youngest of the bunch, here's another switch-hitter who turned 28 a week ago. he was granted free agency by the San Diego Padres in early November, but this is another case where unless we trade one of Gomes or Perez, i don't see a fit here.
--Geovany Soto. i've now had him on my list for three straight years. this righty didn't play much last season and is going to be 35 in January. i still believe he'd be a decent veteran pick up to keep in Columbus as insurance in case one of our catchers suffers an injury.
kind in mind, we're not going to be signing any 1 and 2 type starters, so the names here might be underwhelming.
--Scott Feldman. the right-hander is going on 35 years old and while i'm not sure he'd be agreeable to pitching in the minors until needed, this veteran might be an option if the Indians decide to trade Danny Salazar.
--Edwin Jackson. he's 34 and should be relatively inexpensive. if he's open to a minor league deal/spring invite, we could maybe keep the right-handed pitcher in Columbus for depth.
--Mat Latos. he was released from the Toronto Blue Jays back in May and didn't pitch again in 2017. he'll be 30 years old in December, which isn't old by any means, but i anticipate the righty will be looking for a ballclub that wants him in their rotation.
--Kris Medlen. after spending all last season pitching in the minor leagues, i'm sure the right-hander would accept an invite to spring. but he's only 32 so i don't know if he'd be happy about being optioned to Triple A.
--Wily Peralta. he was granted free agency in October. the 28-year old right-hander pitched both as a starter and reliever in 2017. he's been a Milwaukee Brewer for his whole career though, which might put him at a disadvantage in the American League. that said, he probably wouldn't increase the payroll much and could be worth giving a shot.
--Nick Tepesch. he was also granted free agency in October. this right-hander, who's 29, will be contract-friendly because he hasn't pitched much in the majors over the past three seasons. why not take a look at him in spring?
--Chris Volstad. this 31-year old righty has one-year, minor league deal written all over him. last year, he pitched as both a starter and reliever for the Chicago White Sox and their Triple A team. he spent the entire 2016 season in the minors as well. after becoming a free agent in October, he might be willing to accept a role in our farm system.
FA right-handed relievers:
a year ago, we really needed to look for lefty relievers, but now we need to replace an important righty. let's see who we could get.
--Matt Albers. this is an unlikely reunion, i know, but i had to propose it anyway. he actually had an outstanding season with the Washington Nationals last year and even though he'll turn 35 years old in January, that could work in our favor in terms of expenses. i wouldn't dismiss a one-year deal with Albers again.
--Andrew Bailey. he didn't pitch much in 2017 and spent a little time in the minors. he's 33 and could be a feasible option for us.
--Tony Barnette. the Texas Rangers declined his club option for 2018, probably because his performance as a whole was not good last year, but he did great in 2016. his 34th birthday was mere weeks ago. with our pitching coaches, i'd take a chance on him because he could end up turning things around and becoming a real asset in the bullpen, not to mention a steal.
--Matt Belisle. this 37-year old veteran pitched in the American League for the first time last season to mixed results. he wouldn't cost a lot... should he be brought in to spring?
--Joaquin Benoit. he's 40 years old and doesn't pitch as much as he used to, but that could be due to the former teams he was on. though he does have experience in both the AL and NL, he might want a bigger deal than we can give.
--Joe Blanton. he'll be 37 in December and is a converted starter. he had a rough go in 2017, but did well in the two years prior. he could potentially be someone the Indians offer a contract to.
--Blaine Boyer. he pitched with the Boston Red Sox last year. the 36-year old doesn't give up many homers and he'd probably come cheap, but i don't see him being an arm we must have.
--Steve Cishek. he worked as a closer in the past, most recently in 2016. at only 31, his asking price may be too high.
--Tyler Clippard. this could be the guy the Indians are looking for to help replace Bryan Shaw. he'll turn 33 years old in February, so he's not that old, but his arm could also possibly be out of our price range.
--Dillon Gee. he's been used as both a starter and reliever so i'm not sure what he'll be looking to do in 2018. right now he's 31 years old, but will turn 32 in April. doesn't seem like a realistic option.
--Luke Gregerson. although he did give up a high quantity of home runs last season, his strikeout-to-walk ratio for his career is excellent. he's 33 and seems pretty resilient, so this is a guy i'd like to see us go after and an arm i'd be willing to pay.
--Jason Grilli. he was a closer not too long ago. he's 41 years old now, but appears to still have something left in the tank. if Francona expresses an interest in the vet, then i bet we see him in camp.
--David Hernandez. this 32-year old has pitched in a bunch of games over the past two seasons. he might be presented with a spring invite so the team can get a better look at him.
--Tommy Hunter. i'm a fan of this guy. he spent a little time with the Tribe in 2016, but didn't pitch much because he was injured. typically, he can pitch 60 innings a year and, with the exception of 2017, doesn't give up many long balls. he's 31 and should be within our resources, but would the two parties want to reunite?
--Dustin McGowan. he used to be a starter, but pitched 144.2 innings as a reliever in the last two years with the Miami Marlins. he'll be 36 before the season opens, which i believe should make him affordable to us if this reliable righty is at all appealing to the Indians.
--Brandon Morrow. the 33-year old had a superb year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. he induced 50 strikeouts, allowed just nine walks, and compiled a 2.06 ERA in 45 games. i'd absolutely put in a call to his agent.
--Jason Motte. he's never pitched in the AL so maybe now's the time to switch leagues. at 35 years of age, one would have to think his salary wouldn't be as high anymore. maybe the Tribe could present him with an incentive-laden deal.
--Peter Moylan. he'll be 39 years old in December, but the guy pitched in 79 games in 2017, which tied with Shaw for the most in all of Major League Baseball. he doesn't strike batters out as much, but maybe we can replace the durable Shaw with this equally dependable arm.
--Pat Neshek. this righty put up some ridiculous numbers last year between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies. he made 71 total appearances and pitched 62.1 innings with a 1.59 ERA. oh and he totaled six walks compared to 69 strikeouts. the 37-year old made $6.5 million in each of the last two seasons and i think he was worth it. he could be someone the Indians loosen the purse strings for.
--Juan Nicasio. he can start and relieve, so he's used to a large workload, and he's only 31. this could definitely be a free agent the Indians inquire about to bolster their bullpen.
--Bud Norris. he'll be 33 in March, but might be looking for a team that's going to want him to start. last season was the first where he almost always pitched as a reliever. eh, maybe we pass on him.
--Yusmeiro Petit. he just turned 33 two days ago. he used to be a starter, but over the last three seasons has become a reliever. he had a tremendous 2017 campaign with the Los Angeles Angels that included 91.1 innings, 101 strikeouts, and 18 walks in 60 games. i don't know much else about this guy, but i'd say let's open the checkbook and see what we can do here.
--Sergio Romo. he'd only pitched in the NL until a trade sent him to the Tampa Bay Rays last year. surprisingly enough, he did better there than with either of his previous NL teams. he'll be 35 years old in March. perhaps the Indians could give him a one-year deal with a club option.
--Trevor Rosenthal. he's 27 years old and has been a St. Louis Cardinal for all six of his years in the big leagues. he might cost more than some other FA relievers and i know there's a risk because he hasn't pitched in the AL, but i'd be interested if i were the front office.
--Fernando Salas. he's not that old at 32 and seems capable of pitching many innings in a season. while he'd be an economical addition, he's not my first choice.
--Joe Smith. we know what the sidewinder can do and we know how much of a factor he can be in a bullpen. i'm sure a return to Cleveland again is very alluring, but that will solely depend on how much money he wants and how many years he wants guaranteed. bear in mind though, he'll be 34 in March and the Indians are not going to give him an absurd contract.
--Craig Stammen. he got an invite to camp with us two springs ago and pitched in the minors as he recovered from flexor tendon surgery. he had a decent comeback season in 2017 with the San Diego Padres. he's only ever pitched for NL teams, but could the right-hander, who's set to turn 34 in March, be ready to pitch in the AL?
--Drew Storen. he's usually good for 50-some innings a year, but his ERAs aren't very inspiring. and although the 30-year old shouldn't be too hard to obtain, he may not be the best fit here.
--Anthony Swarzak. he was a starter early on in his career, but not anymore. he's 32 and pitched 77.1 innings in 70 games last year with 22 walks versus 91 strikeouts after spending time with both the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. he pitched for us a little in 2015 in Cleveland and Columbus before going off to Korea. this ship may have sailed.
FA left-handed relievers:
--Fernando Abad. he had a good season last year with the Boston Red Sox and is now a free agent. he'll be 32 in December; i'd bring him to camp if possible.
--Jorge De La Rosa. this veteran will be 37 years old shortly after the season begins. he hasn't pitched in the American League in over 10 years, however, and 2017 was his first as a reliever. he won't cost a lot so maybe the Indians will explore a deal with him.
--Brian Duensing. he's been on my list for three years now. he pitched great out of the pen for the Chicago Cubs last season--his first year in the National League--with 61 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. he'll turn 35 in February and might be available to us if he wants to return to the AL.
--Zach Duke. the southpaw, who's 35th birthday is in April, had Tommy John surgery after the 2016 season and spent more time pitching in the minors than majors in 2017. still, his desired pay might be too much money to spend on a left-hander that's not a bullpen priority.
--Mike Minor. the Kansas City Royals declined his club option, making him a free agent. he used to be a starter, but after shoulder surgery in 2015 and playing only in the minors in 2016, he was employed out of the bullpen in 2017. he'll be 30 in December and shouldn't vastly raise the payroll.
--Oliver Perez. the 36-year old is strictly a reliever now and while he has made many appearances in games, he doesn't pitch a lot of innings, so he's probably strictly a matchup guy. the price might be right, but i'd save money for someone else.
--Glen Perkins. he's been with the Minnesota Twins since his Major League debut in 2006, so we've certainly seen a lot of him. he upheld a closer role until a shoulder injury in 2015 derailed his career. he's barely pitched in the majors over the last two years, totaling just 7.2 innings. he mostly pitched in the minors last season and the Twins declined his club option for 2018. he'll be 35 years old in March and i'm sure another team will be contacting his agent. will it be the Tribe?
--Tony Watson. he's pitched in at least 70 games in his last four seasons. prior to his being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline in 2017, he'd never been with a team besides the Pittsburgh Pirates. so he's an NL boy, but his numbers are respectable. the 32-year old lefty reliever might not be within our means though.
well that's the end of my exhaustive search. good luck to the front office who's actually going to have to make the calls and get some deals done. i had a hard enough time simply mulling over the assortment of choices. i have to admit, i think i found some really good ones, particularly to fill the bullpen void that Shaw and possibly Smith left. i feel better about that situation now and i believe that if they find the right guy, they'll pay him what's needed to get him here. on the contrary, i'm still worried about 1st base and what's going to happen in the outfield. i have a hunch we're going to have to make a trade to fill those spots.
it won't be long before we're seeing players getting signed and invited to spring. and then in a few short months, the first Cactus League game will be starting and we'll get to see all the new guys in action. it's also possible that there will be some decent unsigned free
agents after the season has already begun, and we might bring a player in at a reduced rate as the year is getting underway. so who knows? maybe some of the FAs on
my wish list, or ones currently too expensive for me to have considered, will end up in Cleveland later on.
leave your FA suggestions in a comment if i left someone off my list that you'd like to see the Tribe go after!
Coaching Staff Changes
there weren't any changes made to our front office at the end of the season, but our coaching staff has lost a few of its good men. all the holes have already been filled and no one else is expected to depart from the ballclub. so let's go through the staff.
Terry Francona is back at the helm again, as he's signed through 2020. while several other managers got fired after an early postseason exit, the Indians clearly recognize that no matter the results of our October play, we couldn't do better without Tito.
now let's get to the guys behind the man. Brad Mills remains the bench coach, doubling as the interim manager if Francona is ever unable to be in the dugout.
Sandy Alomar, Jr. is returning as the 1st base coach. (though it was never published, i assume the Indians exercised his option for 2018.) if any of our coaches were going to get a job elsewhere, he'd be the first one i'd suspect, but he didn't even so much as interview with another team that i know of.
Mike Sarbaugh will also be our 3rd base coach once again.
ready for the changes? on October 22, Mickey Callaway was selected to be the New York Mets' new manager. after blowing them away in his interview, he signed a three-year deal with NY. i knew Mickey was going to be a Major League manager some day. congrats and good luck to him. he will be missed.
so who's the new pitching coach? Carl Willis was hired by the Tribe on October 26. some speculated John Farrell was the favorite, but the Indians decided to go with someone whom they're a bit more familiar. in case you forgot, Willis was the team's pitching coach from 2003-2009. he spent the last two and a half years as the pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox and has quite the reputation, having coached four different players in their Cy Young seasons. i have no doubt he'll do well with our current pitchers; i just hope we don't feel the loss of Mickey too much.
the Tribe lost another member of its staff when Matt Quatraro was named the Tampa Bay Rays' new 3rd base coach on October 24. before they found his replacement, news broke that the Indians and Jason Bere had "parted ways" on October 28. talk about a busy week.
on November 1, the Indians publicized that they hired Scott Atchison to be their new bullpen coach. via an article by Paul Hoynes on cleveland.com, a number of teams had expressed interest in Atch and the Indians did not want to lose him. so they had to tell Bere that he would not be returning to his post next season. basically, it's my understanding that they fired Bere and promoted Atchison, who's been working for the Tribe as a staff assistant among other things for the past two years, to keep Atch in the organization.
even with Ty Van Burkleo still on board as the hitting coach, the Indians wanted a second coach to take the spot of Q. enter Victor Rodriguez. he was officially hired to be the new assistant hitting coach on November 8. Rodriguez was previously the assistant hitting coach of the Red Sox, so he should fit in fine here.
and there you have it, the new coaching staff of the Tribe. yes, there's going to be a different dynamic from past years and there could be a bit of an adjustment period during spring training. but i know the new guys wouldn't have been selected if the front office and Francona didn't think they'd be able to plug right in and positively contribute to what the team has already built. i'm excited to see what they can bring to the table next season.
so with that, i think this blog is complete. i'm sure there will be at least one surprise i didn't account for here lol but the bottom line is the Indians need to do something. they can't just stand pat and use internal options because, as happens every year, other teams are going to make deals to get better, so we have to, too. remember: if we don't sign somebody before the end of 2017, that doesn't mean we won't sign anybody. sometimes waiting until the price goes down can be rewarding, like last year with Encarnacion. our 25-man roster likely won't be completed until the final week of spring training, so that gives us a couple more months to find guys and decide who's going to make the squad.
as of today,
there are 82 days left until pitchers and catchers report to spring training
and 125 days until Opening Day. Go Tribe 2018!😀
thanks for reading! and don't forget to leave your comments on what/who the Indians need in order to win it all next year!
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