Free agency is crawling along, and the Cleveland Indians can look to find affordable starting pitchers to add depth, experience, and talent to the strength of the team.
The Cleveland Indians are going to sign somebody this offseason. There will be spring training invitees and players that will be added to compete at key positions. Starting pitching may not seem like an obvious need for the Indians, and it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean that the Tribe couldn’t add depth.
The Cleveland Indians will have one of the best rotations in Major League Baseball entering 2021. This is even if they end up trading Carlos Carrasco. The main four would be Cy Young winner Shane Bieber along with Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, and Triston McKenzie. If there is one concern, those four pitchers have pulled the top end depth of the Indians farm for starters, and are very young.
With those four starting pitchers, the Indians have proven they can draft and develop top end starting pitchers as good as any team in baseball. The issue is they are still extremely young. Bieber, Civale, and Plesac are all 25, and McKenzie is 23. Carrasco brings the veteran presence to the rotation, and if the Indians are truly shopping him, they’ll be looking to add more experience via free agency.
So who are some realistic possibilities for the Indians to target this off-season? Trevor Bauer! Ok, not in the price range, and that’s the key with the names to follow. The Indians will be seeking very affordable options, older than 25, and ideally some postseason experience.
To be affordable, lets consider some signings the Cleveland Indians have done in the past. Let’s keep an eye out for pitchers coming off injuries who may be looking for opportunities for their next pay day. Pitchers who were in poor situations, but have shown to be capable to perform even with playing on a bad team. Or the easiest, just a player who had a bad 2020, and thinks working on a staff and in an organization like Cleveland will adjust their career.
With that said, lets take a look at a few free agent starting pitchers (who can’t be Marcus Stroman or Garrett Richards).