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Indians Offseason Moves What Spots Need

    • 358 posts
    December 4, 2022 7:32 AM EST

    A month later and some time to settle down and get over the bitter World Series defeat, it is now that time to start looking forward to 2017 with the Winter Meetings right around the corner and some free agents beginning to sign. The Indians fell one win short of winning their first World Series since 1948 so what will they do to get over the hump? The answer in short is pretty much nothing. Shorthanded and hurt, they almost pulled off a feat that seemed daunting and impo sible come September. The good news is the team remains mostly intact and should be healthier next year going forward. So why not spend the extra money to get there? There a few different answers. First, the front office did a good chunk of their offseason spending already. At the trade deadline, they picked up all of Andrew Miller and his nine million dollar per year contract. Then right after the season, they picked up Carlos Santanas 12 million dollar option. There is 21 million dollars already spent for a team that averages about 80-90 million Jose Fernandez Jersey for the whole 25 man roster. As far as lo ses, the team only has three free agents from the playoffs; Coco Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Mike Napoli. My a sumption is that Coco Crisp will be gone. He was a waiver addition late in the season but his main role was to replace Abraham Almonte for the postseason when he was ineligible. With Almonte back, there isnt a need for Coco since they share a similar role. Both are switch hitting OFs that can play multiple positions with decent speed except that Almonte is 10 years younger and has more to offer long term. Mike Napoli will be the harder of the remaining two to sign. He had a career year and is the most valuable Cleveland free agent because of his power bat among the weakest free agency cla s in a very long time. The team was correct in not offering him a qualifying offer for 17 million. I dont see teams biting to give a 35 year old 1B/DH a large multiyear contract or a one year offer greater than that. From the Indians standpoint it makes complete sense to make all attempts to resign him. He was a great compliment to Santana and a fan favorite coming off a career year. He will rotate between 1B and DH giving both guys a chance to keep fresh legs over the course of the long MLB season. He does carry a big hit or bust potential though Wei-Yin Chen Jersey with him likely looking for a multiyear deal secondary to his age and 2016 performance. If he can perform like he did in the regular season it is money well spent but he goes through his streaks of strikeouts and hitle s at bats too often like we saw in the postseason. If the money and contract length come together Cleveland fans will be happy to see him again.Rajai Davis is the easiest one to resign but may or may not make sense. Where it makes sense is that he is a right handed bat. Currently Brandon Guyer would be the only true right hander on the roster. The determining factor on resigning Davis is likely going to be Michael Brantleys injury. If Brantley is going to mi s time or struggles in the spring, the Indians will need an additional outfielder. Davis has that familiarity with the team and still has a lot to offer the club. Just because of the setup of the team right now, if he would resign I would not expect it to come before March.Another reason for a low budget free agency is that arbitration costs will hurt this year with Guyer, McAllister, Chisenhall, Bauer, Shaw, Otero, Allen, and Salazar all eligible for it. Each of those players will get a raise but for how much is still to be determined. It is estimated the arbitration costs for those eight players may fall just short of 30 million. Each raise a player gets takes away from the pool of money the Tribe can spend elsewhere.Looking at the current roster, the team could look like these 22 spots.SP Corey KluberSP Danny Starlin Castro Jersey SalazarSP Carlos CarrascoSP Trevor BauerSP Mike Tomlin RP Mike ClevingerRP Zach McAllisterRP Bryan ShawRP Dan OteroRP Andrew MillerRP Cody Allen Scroll to ContinueC Yan GomesC Roberto Perez1B Carlos Santana2B Jason KipnisSS Francisco Lindor3B Jose RamirezINF Michael MartinezOF Abraham AlmonteOF Michael BrantleyOF Lonnie ChisenhallOF Brandon GuyerOF Tyler NaquinThat current roster leaves three open roster spots, one for another infielder and two for relief pitchers with Manship being non-tendered. I would have to think they will make an attempt to sign a left handed reliever so Tito can use matchups and not waste Andrew Miller. Left handed relievers were an Achilles heel for the Indians in 2016 especially early on with a constant revolving door of relievers. Some free agent names that come to mind would be Boone Logan, Mark Rzepczynski, and JP Howell. Boone Logan was a po sible trade deadline candidate from Colorado and will be just 32. Hes coming off one of the best seasons of his 11 year career with a career low in hits allowed and one of his best ERA and SO wise. Rzepczynski has experience with both Cleveland and Tito when he was with the bullpen from 2013-15. Since then he has journeyed around the MLB but posted a 2.64 ERA this past season. He was the matchup guy in his first tenure here and would make sense to come back and retake that role. However it sounds like he is finalizing a deal with Seattle. Howell might be a stretch to get from LA but hes coming off a bad year with a 4.04 ERA and will be Martin Prado Jersey 34. From 2013-15 he was one of the best relievers in baseball with his highest ERA being 2.39 for any of those seasons. In November Cleveland claimed Tim Cooney from St. Louis. The 25 year old lefty mi sed all of 2016 with a shoulder injury but is a former third round pick who has pitched well in the minors and had a 3.16 ERA in six starts in 2015. He could also be in contention for that spot. The second spot could go to a lefty or righty but my gue s would be the team would use that spot on somebody already in the organization or somebody brought in on a minor league deal to save money.If Napoli leaves, two names that come to mind are Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce. Kendrys Morales would have made sense Giancarlo Stanton Jersey as a permanent DH leaving Santana to play a lot of 1B while also coming over from a division rival. Hes hit .277 with 52 HRs and 199 RBIs the last two years. Those numbers are very comparable to Napoli including a higher batting average. Unfortunately hes already become insurance property for Toronto, signing a three year 33 million dollar contract. Steve Pearce wont provide the same power, maybe just a 15-20 HR per year player but can play 1B, 2B, and some OF to give the team defensive versatility. He also hit .288 last season. However with the market being extremely thin, the pre sure to resign Napoli would be the best move Cleveland can make this offseason.If the team looks at an OF other than Rajai I dont think it would come until the spring. As it stands now, the team already has a full five outfielders on their roster so somebody would have to be moved for a spot on the a