The Cleveland Indians decided to make something happen before they let us down saying that payroll is being cute. It might be one of those seasons.
Well, here we are. January is almost over and the Cleveland Indians are hinting at no further moves being made. It’s been a dull offseason all around the MLB, and we still have over 100 unsigned free agents waiting for teams to call. The chances of the Indians being one of those teams are looking slimmer and slimmer.
But the Indians haven’t been completely silent. In fact, this weekend they made a move that I felt they desperately needed to make. The Indians brought back Oliver Perez on a one year deal. This gives the Indians some sustainability to the bullpen and gives them a lefty arm they know they can rely on. Perez was a huge piece of the Indians bullpen in 2018 and it was a career year for him.
Cleveland Indians re-sign left-hander Oliver Perez / ESPN, Associated Press
Once Chris Antonetti said the Indians were cutting payroll (we knew this) it seemed like all hell broke loose on Indians twitter. So Paul Hoynes took to his Cleveland.com page to shed some light on the situation. He explains the team wants to make use of their younger prospects so they can make long term decisions on them. Those decisions may be made towards the trade deadline as the Indians can make bold moves at that point. That seems to be what Hoynes is hinting at.
Here’s why the Cleveland Indians have been cutting payroll all winter / Cleveland.com, Paul Hoynes
Obviously, the Indians need to be close to contending to make big moves at the deadline, but they need to stay ahead of the division in order to be in that spot.
Mandy Bell posed an interesting question about the Indians current situation at DH and 1B. The interesting scenario of splitting Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers in the two roles is intriguing. It’s safe to say Sanatana will be the regular first baseman for the Tribe, but Bauers is in an interesting spot heading into 2019.
Around the Horn: Indians corner infield/DH / MLB.com, Mandy Bell
Let’s all collectively breathe here. The Indians are still contenders this year. We don’t need to panic just yet. But if the year starts off terribly I give you permission to come after me.