It’s cold in Cleveland but things will be beginning to heat up for the Indians soon. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report in Arizona on February 17. This marks the yearly start of spring training and a bright spot in winter for die-hard baseball fans.
This offseason the Indians have made several moves that have left fans feeling down. The biggest of the moves involved the trade of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets. Outfielders Delino DeShields and Tyler Naquin’s team options were declined as well as All-Star closer Brad Hand. The organization dropped its final payroll to an estimated $50-55 million. This had critics scratching their heads at the notion of the team being a contender for several years to come.
Despite the salary dumps and the big-name players lost, the Indians are still a really good team.
Yes, read that again.
The Indians are a really good team.
There were some incredibly positive moves made by the organization. The resigning of Gold Glove second baseman Cesar Hernandez keeps a great presence on the infield. Then the Tribe went out and signed the former Minnesota Twin outfielder Eddie Rosario. Rosario adds a solid bat to the lineup. Rosario absolutely crushed the ball at Progressive Field by having almost as many home runs there as he did at his prior home park in Minnesota.
The trade of Lindor and Carrasco landed the team shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez. Gimenez looked good in NY as he started for the Mets the final month of the season. There are current rumors that Rosario may be in trade talks with the Cincinnati Reds, however, the Indians have a few other options at shortstop aside from Gimenez.
The pitching rotation is still one of the strongest in the American League Central. The young right-hander Shane Bieber has slid into the number one spot and at just 25 years old finds himself the veteran. Bieber won the Cy Young last year and was the All-Star pitcher in 2019. He will be joined by fellow right-handers Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac. Triston McKenzie emerged as a bright spot for the Indians last season. He pitched in eight games and will more than likely have a spot in the rotation. The Tribe has several other pitching candidates available as well as Adam Plutko, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen.
The offseason felt dismal but there’s plenty of young faces to look forward to watching play. The lineup will have some punch with Hernandez in the leadoff spot and bats like Jose Ramirez and Rosario. So, while the snow piles up in Cleveland let’s look forward to watching what this seemingly new team does in Arizona soon. They may just very well surprise nay-sayers this summer.