Sep 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) and catcher Yan Gomes (10) celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros 4-2 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Ultimately, the Cleveland Indians do not “need” Rafael Soriano. They have a very good bullpen with a good mix of vets and young power arms. They should be fine with Cody Allen as the closer and Shaw/Atchison as setup men from the right side and Rzepczynski/Crockett/Hagadone from the left side. However, the season is 162 games and depth is always going to be a concern when it comes to pitching. The rotation looks solid in that department (despite the recent news on Josh Tomlin) with Danny Salazar, Shaun Marcum, and Bruce Chen in AAA, but personally I’m still a bit worried about the depth in the bullpen.
Whether one is a fan of Rafael Soriano or not, I think most Tribe fans would agree with me that he is an upgrade over Adams and Swarzak. He would provide the Indians with one more solid vet, giving them seven relievers that Tito can trust going to late in games. He can then still keep Swarzak or Adams around as that eighth reliever to use in mop-up duty. Even without Soriano the Cleveland Indians bullpen should be very good, but with an experienced back-end guy like Soriano it could be even better. I personally would love to see a guy like Soriano brought in to give the Cleveland Indians a “traditional closer” while also allowing Francona to utilize Allen as the “bullpen ace” pitching whenever most needed, be it the 7th, 8th or 9th inning.