The Indians entered the offseason with a real need in the outfield, writes Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. The additions of Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis won’t have the impact of a Yoenis Cespedes, but they should help improve the club’s floor. Free agent Juan Uribe might be the next target. The club still lacks a dynamic bat like Manny Ramirez which may force them to manufacture runs.
Here’s more from Cleveland:
- Members of the Indians rotation are happy to have remained in town, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The entire unit will cost less than $15MM despite containing stalwarts like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar. The team is in a position to once again possess the top rotation in the American League which could help to mitigate the aforementioned lineup weakness.
- The Indians are wary of qualifying offer players in part because they possess the 15th overall pick, writes Hoynes. However, money is the main reason why the team hasn’t signed any of the qualifying offer players on the market. The only one to sign cheaply, Howie Kendrick, does not play a position of need for Cleveland. For what it’s worth, Dexter Fowler is still available and would be a good fit for the Indians at the right price. I also see Austin Jackson, David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd, Shane Victorino, and Alex Rios as possible bargain targets for the Tribe.
- Fans may be frustrated by the lack of offensive overhaul, writes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. However, they should be happy with the overall state of the roster. Eleven core members are under some form of control through at least 2018. Many can be kept at potential bargain prices through 2021. The amount of club control at team friendly rates means the Indians won’t be forced into trading away much talent.