The Cleveland Indians Rookie of the Year candidate
In 2016 we saw the emergence of an exciting new outfielder. Naquin debuted like a bat out of hell, hitting .296 with a .886 OPS in 116 games played. He played so well that he took third place in Rookie of the Year voting for his torrid regular season. Though Naquin was an integral piece of the 94-win team, sadly, inexperience caught up with him and he all but disappeared in the playoffs (as you would expect from a rookie).
After 2016, Naquin’s career took a downward trajectory. From 2017 through the shortened 2020 season, Tyler Naquin only played 209 out of a possible 648 regular-season games. He compiled an OPS+ of 85 over those 4 seasons (keep in mind league average is 100) and was even brought back on a one-year deal for 2020 in hopes he could somehow reprise his rookie numbers.
The team was obviously reluctant to let him go given that he was homegrown talent. He had shown promise at the age of 25, but it was clear that his one-year deal for 2020 was out of convenience and comfort for both him and the organization. It was a final chance for him to claim his stake during the abbreviated season and he fumbled the bag.
It only made sense for both sides to part. Clearly, Naquin needed a change of scenery and the Indians had to add new faces to an outfield that had become stagnant and injury-riddled.
Moving ahead to some of the more controversial moves made by the Indians front office, five names immediately come to mind.