Cleveland Indians: A five point offseason checklist for the Tribe

Triston McKenzie #26 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Triston McKenzie #26 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cesar Hernandez, Cleveland Indians
Cesar Hernandez #7 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Step #3: Find the 2021 Cesar Hernandez

After signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, Cesar Hernandez exploded during the 2020 season, becoming a key part of the team’s success throughout the shortened season. While Hernandez was incredibly productive, leading the league in doubles, he has most likely priced himself out of another season in Cleveland.

The task for the front office will now be finding the 2021 edition of Hernandez. That doesn’t necessarily mean a second baseman that leads the league in doubles, but rather a cheap free agent that can outplay his contract. It’s what teams like the Indians are built on. Players that have potential, but will still sign for a low price.

While Hernandez fit perfectly into what the Tribe needed after the departure of Jason Kipnis, the job this coming offseason to find another diamond in the rough might be a bit easier. Depending on how the other steps on this list go, Cleveland could have quite a few more openings in 2021 than they did in 2020, meaning more spaces to potentially fill through free agency.

What it comes down to is that the more free agents the Indians bring in, the higher the likelihood of finding another player of Hernandez’s caliber on low-cost, one-year deal.