The Cleveland Indians have the same goal in 2020 that the team has had since the start of the 1949 season. Anything less is another disappointment.
New Year’s Eve being in the middle of the week threw me off quite a bit. There was not much Cleveland Indians news to report so it was a nice break from the wild rumors we all saw at the end of December.
The slow week got me thinking about the 2020 season and while I thought a bit about certain players I would like to see improve and specific goals, I could only settle on the one goal of winning the World Series.
2016 was both great and terrible. It was obviously great because the Indians nearly won a World Series and brought back that 90s magic fans had been waiting for. Yet it was terrible because the expectation of a World Series was set in 2017 and beyond.
Now the team is in a weird position where the front office stresses that the team is good, but payroll has been slashed. On most contending teams that would signal a big move is coming. With the Indians it is hard to ever know if that will be the case.
If no move is made and Francisco Lindor is traded between now and the start of the season, the front office will have a tough time explaining to fans that the World Series is the goal in 2020. Even if he is not moved there is this lingering doom that surrounds the fact he is playing without an extension.
The goal should be a World Series title every year. Yet teams don’t always actively compete and owners save money and all that fun stuff. I have a scared sense that the latter is true in 2020.
2016 was fun because there were no expectations and all the great success seemingly came out of nowhere. Now fans, or at least me and I assume others, don’t want to sit back and watch the team continue to regress. No more veteran utility infielders getting meaningful time and no more bullpen collapses when better talent is available for cheap.
I have learned in the past that an Indians offseason has to be judged at the end. The team may move slowly and it is too early to react after one big move, like moving Kluber. But the clock is ticking and this has been a busy offseason for other teams. One could even argue the Chicago White Sox could surpass the Indians in 2020 and for several years to come.
The Indians had a golden opportunity in 2017 and 2018 to go for it while playing in a terrible division. Then the Twins got good in 2019. 2020 will feature the Twins and the White Sox as actual competitors.
Maybe this will actually convince ownership to spend or make a blockbuster trade that makes the team better. Or so I hope.