With Cleveland Indians ownership ordering payroll cuts, the Indians front office has to improve the roster by dealing Corey Kluber.
It has become evident that the Cleveland Indians off-season isn’t going to be what fans had hoped for. Recent articles from Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com, have confirmed our fears as the Indians front office was handed down a mandate to cut payroll this off-season.
Now, this could generate a wide variety of potential outcomes as far as the roster goes. However; to this point, it would appear the allotment for spending on players is nonexistent.
According to Spotrac.com, The Indians payroll in 2018 was way up at $142,804,703. With no major moves on the horizon, the Tribe payroll for 2019 would currently be $96,278,751.
It is more maddening when in just the last week potential outfield help like Avasail Garcia signed with Tampa Bay for a very reasonable 1 year, $3.5 Million deal and Nick Markakis re-signed for 1 year, $6 Million dollars. These players would not be the splash signing we all want but they would certainly help and they are being acquired on the cheap.
The Indians are firmly in their window of winning and they are cutting $40 Million dollars in payroll? It’s hard to comprehend.
It leaves only one option. To this point, the Tribe has stood firm on their asking price for Corey Kluber. They wanted a return similar to the one that Chris Sale commanded. However, if you are not willing to spend to improve the outfield and bullpen then you have to improve another way.
I am ready for the Indians to back off of their expected return for Kluber and get an impact player under team control and a reliever. Alex Verdugo of the Dodgers would get the deal done for me but there are multiple suitors for Kluber and the Indians roster is wildly imbalanced.
At this point, if the Indians front office knows they can’t spend to get better, then you have to find a way to bolster the roster through other methods. This is still a win right now year for the Indians and windows like this don’t come that often.
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There is more than one way to get better. It’s not ideal, but the depth at pitching allows the Indians a different way to get better. Time to pull that trigger and get what you can for Kluber.