The Indians came within one game of celebrating their first World Series championship in nearly seven decades last season, and they had the luxury of retaining the vast majority of that team for the 2017 campaign. Unlike others so far in this series, Cleveland has assembled its roster almost entirely via the draft, international free agency and trades. Such moves have accounted for 22 of the Indians’ 25 players, with only three joining the roster via free agency or waivers.
Here’s how president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, general manager Mike Chernoff and the rest of the Indians’ brain trust have pieced together a 102-win team that led the American League in wins thanks largely to a historic winning streak late in the year…
- HOMEGROWN (11)
- Josh Tomlin, SP: Drafted 19th Rd ’06
- Danny Salazar, SP/RP: International Free Agent (D.R.) July ’08
- Lonnie Chisenhall, OF: Drafted 1st Rd (29) ’08
- Roberto Perez, C: Drafted 33rd Rd ’08
- Giovanny Urshela, 3B: International Free Agent (Colombia) July ’08
- Erik Gonzalez, INF: International Free Agent (D.R.) August ’08
- Jason Kipnis, 2B/CF: Drafted 2nd Rd ’09
- Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B: International Free Agent (D.R.) December ’09
- Francisco Lindor, SS: Drafted 1st Rd (8) ’11
- Cody Allen, RP: Drafted 23rd Rd ’11
- Greg Allen, OF: Drafted 6th Rd ’14
- ACQUIRED VIA FREE AGENCY (2)
- ACQUIRED VIA TRADE (11)
- Carlos Santana, 1B: July ’08 (LAD) — Acquired in the trade that sent Casey Blake to the Dodgers.
- Michael Brantley, OF: October ’08 (MIL) — Acquired in the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers.
- Carlos Carrasco, SP: July ’09 (PHI) — Acquired in the trade that sent Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Phillies.
- Corey Kluber, SP: July ’10 (SD) — Acquired in the three-team trade that sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres and Jake Westbrook and Nick Greenwood to the Cardinals.
- Yan Gomes, C: November ’12 (TOR) — Acquired in the trade that sent Esmil Rogers to the Blue Jays.
- Trevor Bauer, SP: December ’12 (ARZ) — Acquired in the trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Reds and Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks.
- Bryan Shaw, RP: December ’12 (ARZ) — Acquired in the trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Reds and Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks.
- Mike Clevinger, SP: August ’14 (LAA) — Acquired in the trade that sent Vinnie Pestano to the Angels.
- Andrew Miller, RP: July ’16 (NYY) — Acquired in the trade that sent Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen to the Yankees.
- Joe Smith, RP: July ’17 (TOR) — Acquired in the trade that sent Thomas Pannone and Samad Taylor to the Blue Jays.
- Jay Bruce, OF: August ’17 (NYM) — Acquired in the trade that sent Ryder Ryan to the Mets.
The vast majority of the Indians’ core is controlled not only for the 2018 season but into 2019 as well. Cleveland could lose Santana and Shaw as free agents this winter, and rental pickups Bruce and Smith are eligible for free agency as well. But Cleveland’s future is exceptionally bright, with stars like Kluber, Carrasco, Lindor and Ramirez all controlled through at least the 2020 season. With at least two teams in full rebuild mode in the AL Central, the Indians are primed for a prolonged run of success.