Cleveland Indians: Free agents to avoid this winter

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In just over two weeks, the baseball world will shift its focus to the offseason. Which players should the Cleveland Indians avoid in free agency?

Don’t look now, but October is halfway over. One team has already clinched its spot in the World Series (my sincerest congratulations to the Washington Nationals). Time flies when you’re watching other teams have fun, right? Or something like that?

Anyway, with November coming up faster than we realize, there’s a flurry of speculation coming with it regarding which teams should be in on which free agents this winter. The Cleveland Indians don’t often find themselves at the center of many of these discussions due to their historical tendency not to be an aggressive participant in the market.

Regardless, there are going to be free agents out there who make sense for Cleveland’s budget and roster needs, and thus their names will be associated with the Tribe until they sign elsewhere.

But what about the guys the Indians shouldn’t go after? And no, I don’t just mean they should sit out the impending Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. The Indians already have a deep starting rotation, and if Cole doesn’t get the biggest contract ever for a pitcher, well then why are people anywhere getting paid for anything? Of course the Indians are out on him.

I’m talking about players in this year’s free agency class who may be affordable, may play a position of need for the Tribe, or may otherwise fit the profile of a guy this front office has targeted in the past, but should not be wearing an Indians uniform next season regardless of those criteria. Make sense?

Who are these free agents, and why shouldn’t the Indians pursue them?