Cleveland Guardians News

Cleveland Indians: Free agents to avoid this winter

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(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: Avisail Garcia #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a single against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in game four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: Avisail Garcia #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a single against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in game four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Avisail Garcia – OF, Tampa Bay Rays

In theory, signing Avisail Garcia would be a more budget-friendly means of appeasing anyone who thinks the Indians should bring back Yasiel Puig in 2020 (or beyond).

Garcia is six months younger than Puig, plays right field, and has some decent pop in his bat. Per Spotrac, he made a base salary of $3.5 million in 2019, and probably isn’t looking at a humongous raise on his next deal.

But he’s also a right-handed hitter, and doesn’t provide an upgrade defensively over Puig–or any of the Tribe’s in-house outfield options, for that matter. If you’ve been following along with us at Believeland Ball so far this offseason, you’re aware that (in my opinion, at least) the Indians aren’t in need of another righty in the outfield.

And they certainly aren’t in need of a below-average defender with a slightly above-average bat if they are indeed going to explore the right-handed market. Garcia may be linked to the Indians in offseason speculation, but the front office should look for outfield help elsewhere.

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