Cleveland Indians: Rule 5 Draft roster decisions as deadline approaches

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(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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The Near Certainty

Gabriel Arias – SS

Gabriel Arias is a guy I nearly put in the “lock” category with Nolan Jones as he’s been on some top 100 prospect lists and was one of the biggest pieces the Tribe got in the Mike Clevinger trade this summer. There’s really no logical reason for him to be left off. He’s a great defender at shortstop and by some accounts could be big league ready as soon as 2022 as a potential Francisco Lindor replacement.

The one knock on him for a while was the bat lacked far behind the glove; however, in 2019 he had a breakout at the plate, batting .302/.339/.470 and 17 home runs at Advanced-A. He still doesn’t walk much and losing 2020 definitely couldn’t have been good for the development but the glove is something a team could stash on the bench as a utility player now and worry about the bat developing later.

Odds of being added: 99.9% 

More from Away Back Gone

The Good Bet

Eli Morgan – RHP

I’ve seen a lot of people putting Eli Morgan down as a lock to be added but for me, I think he’s a step below that level of certainty. That said, while I’m not a betting man myself, if I was I’d probably put a (small) wager on Morgan being on the Tribe’s 40-man roster come the weekend. His status in the Tribe’s prospect ranks varies a lot depending who you ask. Baseball America left him off their top 30 list this past winter though I know others like him more.

He put up some good numbers at Double-A Akron in 2019, posting a 3.79 ERA and 3.75 FIP in just over 100 innings and 18 starts. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to “wow” you with his stuff but then again neither were guys like Shane Bieber or Aaron Civale when they were at the levels he was at.

Morgan can rake up some strikeouts while limiting walks. He’s the type of pitcher the Tribe has been great at molding into better starters than people ever dreamed of. I have a feeling the Indians are higher on him than most prospect gurus.

Odds of being added: 75%