How the Indians will Look to Continue Decreasing Payroll

Now that the 2020 season for the Cleveland Indians is in the books, it’s time to get ready for the dreaded offseason. Once again, it appears the Tribe will be getting ready to cut payroll. This is most likely how they will do it.

Carlos Santana

There is no need to beat a dead horse here. After Santana’s dismal 2020 season, it’s clear the Indians will decline his $17.5 million club option.

Cesar Hernandez 

Another player who has already been mentioned as a departing free-agent. Hernandez definitely had a good season in Cleveland, but that doesn’t change how he was signed as a rental to fill the spot for future second base prospects. So his $6.25 million will be off the books next year.

Francisco Lindor

It was fun while it lasted, but the Indians’ time with Lindor will most likely be coming to an end, and departing with him will be his $17.5 million dollar contract. 

Brad Hand

Now that the Indians are in a money crunch, Hand looks expendable despite his strong 2020 season. With hard-throwing Emmanuel Clase coming back, along with returning pitchers like James Karinchack, Cal Quantrill, Triston McKenzie, Nick Wittgren and Phil Maton, there won’t be much room for Hand. With his $10 million dollar club option, he’ll most likely be gone next season – either by trade or declining his option

Sandy León

After a disappointing year and the acquisition of a capable backup in Austin Hedges, there’s little reason to re-sign León and with that goes his $2 million dollars.

Oliver Pérez

In a similar situation to Brad Hand, there’s a decent chance the Indians will have to say goodbye to Pérez now that he is a free agent. His departure would clear up another $3 million. 

Delino DeShields

After a disastrous Game 2 defensive performance, and an overall disappointing 2020, there’s still a solid chance the Indians look to retain DeShields, but for now, his future in Cleveland is uncertain.

While there is a possibility a couple of the aforementioned players remain on the roster next season, one thing is clear: the Indians’ payroll will continue to be cut and with that, the future of some of Cleveland’s top talents will continue to be put in question. But as long as the Indians retain their core of young starting pitchers and address the flaws in the outfield this offseason, the front office hopes it can remain a playoff contender.




Brad Hand and Lindor [Brad Hand and Francisco Lindor high-five after a win]. (2019). Retrieved October 03, 2020, from

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