Cleveland Indians: Five former Indians who could return in 2021

Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Cesar Hernandez
Cesar Hernandez #7 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Five former Cleveland Indians who could return in 2021

The Cleveland Indians made the blockbuster deal of the offseason so far, as we all expected, but by moving multiple players in the deal they opened up even more holes on the roster than what was there before the trade. Now, the team has to go about assembling the roster for the 2021 season.

Trading Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco opened up a large chunk of payroll on the Indians’ books, upwards of $44 million, which was the goal. Now, Cleveland will need to find a way to fill those gaps while also trying to save money.

Most times the eyes turn to the minor leagues and while there will eventually be answers, the players that will take over those roles in the future won’t be ready this season. Instead, the Cleveland Indians might have to turn to their past.

There are quite a few former Indians on the free agent market and at least a handful could be serviceable to the team during the 2021 season. Not only do they fill gaps, but they could keep the team payroll low as well.

Being former players of the organization, they could be looking for a homecoming of sorts. A World Series run might not necessarily be tied to the contract, but playing for fans that love you isn’t bad either. Jim Thome and Kenny Lofton are among a group that have done this in the past and we could very well see it again.

On top of that, they could be willing to cut the Tribe a bit of a deal financially. Like I said, trading Lindor and Carrasco saved a lot of money and Cleveland isn’t exactly ready to dump it all into other contracts. However, perhaps the front office might be able to convince these players of a hometown discount to return to the Cleveland Indians.