3 players the Cleveland Indians must ink to long-term deals this offseason
The Cleveland Indians are notoriously one of the most frugal teams in baseball. Yet, somehow, they haven’t had a losing season since 2012. That’s in large part to trading away talent before contracts expire to keep the farm system circulating top talent to the majors. But what if, just hear me out, the club signed a few players long-term?
It’s a wild concept, I know, but teams around baseball have been doing it for years. Now, the Cleveland Indians might be able to also. It might take some convincing, but if ownership can agree to sign a few players now, they could end up saving money in the long run while keeping players in town rather than trading them.
Sarcasm aside, this is a trend that is becoming more popular throughout the league. Instead of using every year of a player’s arbitration, teams are jumping the gun and signing lengthy extensions. The team has to pay a bit more now, but when it’s all said and done the team will surely save money.
The Atlanta Braves did this recently with both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. Both were budding stars so instead of paying them the league minimum for a couple seasons and then going through arbitration, they just signed them long term.
Now, Acuna is signed on through at least the 2026 season, making between $15-17 million a year, a bargain for one of the best players in the game. As for Albies, he’s inked through at least 2025 on a deal worth $3-7 million a year. Again, a huge bargain.
Even the San Diego Padres did something similar with Fernando Tatis Jr. It cost them a bit more, though, as players are catching on. Still, the Padres signed Tatis through the 2034 season with his salary ranging anywhere from $5.7 million in 2022 to $36.7 in 2034 when he’s 35-years old.
Now, a contract of that length isn’t always necessary, but paying up early can, well, pay off. The Tribe did it with Jose Ramirez and they should be inclined to do it again this offseason with these three players.