Cleveland Indians: Analyzing the Rest of the AL Central

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May 6, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (23), right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall (8) and catcher Yan Gomes (10) celebrate after scoring on a double hit by Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (not pictured) during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (23), right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall (8) and catcher Yan Gomes (10) celebrate after scoring on a double hit by Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (not pictured) during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 28, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are the one team in the AL Central that could give the Indians issues. However, they too have seen the departure of key talent.

Reliever Wade Davis being dealt to the Chicago Cubs leaves a huge hole in what is a normally dominant Royals bullpen. DH Kendrys Morales was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, leaving a gap in the middle of the lineup. Also, an already mediocre starting rotation was dealt a blow in the Edinson Volquez departure.

Davis has been a stalwart in the Royals bullpen since their emergence as a World Series contender in 2014. He has been relied on to get the Royals out of tight spots late in games, and not having that arm anymore will certainly hurt the Royals in 2017.

The Royals did add a key player in the Wade Davis deal. Outfielder Jorge Soler will fit nicely into the Royals outfield and help in the Royals lineup.

I would expect the Royals to compete with the Indians throughout the year, but ultimately settle for a wildcard spot, if they can keep their starting rotation in check.

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