The Cleveland Indians will likely be on a tight budget this offseason. That means one impending free agent may be on his way out the door.
The Cleveland Indians are not a team to spend wildly, much to the frustration of fans.
That will continue to be true this offseason as the team is preparing for a major raise set to be handed out to Francisco Lindor as he remains in his arbitration years. Some fans are hoping for a multi-year rise. That is unlikely, but not impossible.
Good news comes with the fact the Indians don’t have a lot of moving pieces this offseason. The core team is still intact and should be for at least two seasons.
From the article:
"At 28, he is a solid veteran outfielder who hits right-handed pitching extremely well, plays solid defense and has played in the postseason six times with a .280/.351/.429 line and 14 extra-base hits in 202 plate appearances. Puig is coming off a solid season where he hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI and a career-high 19 stolen bases."
Puig is an interesting player. He is only going to be 29 years old when the 2020 season begins and he has never signed a major contract. That should change this offseason as Spotrac offers up a market value projection of $17.5 million annually on a three-year deal.
Such a deal would be uncharacteristic for the Indians and I doubt they would go three years with Puig. However, if his market goes quiet I could see the Indians offering something for two years and around $26-28 million. That would likely have him waiting for a better offer.
Professional sports is an odd business because there are those who wait for their supposed market value and others who will take a discount to stay with a team they like. Then again, I am talking about a player still making tens of millions of dollars. Sign me up for that discount.
The Indians don’t necessarily need to sign Puig. Guys like Franmil Reyes, Oscar Mercado, Jordan Luplow, Bradley Zimmer, and Greg Allen figure to be in the fight for playing time. But wouldn’t it be nice to have an established veteran out there with both postseason experience and success as a pro?
The team frequently deals with being “one player away” when great options are already on the team. Michael Brantley, anyone?
I personally want the Indians to keep Puig. The problem is ownership actually spending the money. Perhaps a big trade opens up some money, though that could create another hole on the roster.