Clevelinks: Injured Indians Return; Royals Will Need More Than Luck This Year In Central

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The Cleveland Indians kept themselves in the running for the AL Wild Card right to the very end. With a few players playing through injuries or pain, it could have been a much different story last year. Now, player like Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis to name a few are ready to return and help the Tribe become perennial contenders. But are the Indians trusting in too many guys to come back after injury-filled, disappointing seasons? 

The Kansas City Royals made an improbable run through the playoffs after winning the AL Wild Card opening round game in miraculous fashion. But as Sam Mellinger writes, they would be smart to have selective memory. Had things played out just a bit differently, the Royals would not have been the darlings of the playoffs, the Athletics may not had traded Brandon Moss to the Tribe, and Kansas City would still be talking about 1985.

The James Shields saga may be nearing its end, as the San Diego Padres appear to be the frontrunner with the Chicago Cubs a longshot second. As one of the top free agents this off-season, many expected Shields to sign a multi-year deal in the $100 million range. But after sitting on the sidelines as other key pitchers were signed, he’s had to adjust his expectation. The expected deal is thought to be likely a four-year deal near $80 million. News could come as early as Monday morning.

Call to the Pen put together a “Breakout team” for 2015, and the Indians Carlos Santana finds himself among those mentioned. With his move to a full-time first baseman, it’s believed with his power and eye at the plate (27 home runs, .365 OBP in 2014) that a 30 HR and 100 RBI season could be on tap for El Oso this year.

Click to read more on these stories from around the league:

‘Are the Indians relying too heavily on players coming off of injury?’ – Wahoo’s on First

‘A little selective memory would serve the Royals well this season’ – Kansas City Star

‘Padres still favorites for James Shields?’ – Friars on Base

‘Predicting Breakout players for 2015’ – Call to the Pen

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