Cleveland Indians: What would the typical lineup look like as of now?

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Yonder Alonso
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Yonder Alonso /

A 2018 Cleveland Indians lineup will be different from what we saw in 2017 but not by much.

With zero Cleveland Indians games for a few more months, speculation as to what the team will do in the offseason takes over fans’ focus. In addition, discussing with fellow fans or just thinking to oneself what the Tribe’s roster will look like in the meantime is always entertaining.

Following the loss of 1B Carlos Santana, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Cleveland agreed to a deal with Santana’s replacement, Yonder Alonso.’s Mark Feinsand then reported that “Alonso’s contract will be worth $7 million in 2018, $8 million in 2019, and a vesting option in 2020 for $9 million.”

Not as much movement has been made so far this offseason. That is good news for the Tribe as they look to add to their bullpen and fill the rest of their roster.

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Don’t bank on Jay Bruce returning to right field for Cleveland. I wish I could say the complete opposite but as each day passes, the likelihood seems to dwindle.

More moves will be made prior to spring training.

However, knowing that Alonso is in the fold, Michael Brantley and his contract worth $11 million should be playing left field. It remains to be seen what the front office wants to do with Jason Kipnis. Anything and everything should still be considered.

Given who is on the roster at the moment, what should the lineup look like as of today? No manager goes off of just one lineup but the following should give everyone a good feel for what to expect for the most part in 2018.

  1. Francisco Lindor – SS
  2. Michael Brantley – LF
  3. Jose Ramirez – 3B
  4. Edwin Encarnacion – DH
  5. Yonder Alonso – 1B
  6. Jason Kipnis – 2B
  7. Lonnie Chisenhall – RF
  8. Yan Gomes/ Roberto Perez – C
  9. Bradley Zimmer- CF

Luckily, the Indians still have time to figure out the rest of their roster. I’d like to put Greg Allen in the lineup but that would require Bradley and/or Chisenhall to play elsewhere which would then lead to a trade to some degree.

The same can be said for including Yandy Diaz and/or Giovanny Urshela. While both are talented, both also have their own issues they need to sort through first before they are a given in the everyday lineup.

Not having Austin Jackson part of the equation is also tough right now. In an ideal world, Cleveland makes at least one impactful move soon. The Alonso signing was solid but more is needed. Maybe Cleveland ends up finding that quality deal to move on from a Kipnis, Chisenhall, Brantley, etc.

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Mix and match as you’d like. For some spots, there’s not much wiggle room, while others could realistically have three options to choose from. Barring something happening before Christmas, I expect a Kipnis trade to be completed in early January.