Cleveland Indians may have to choose to re-sign just one key reliever in 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15: Cody Allen /

This offseason may be just the beginning of a new looked Cleveland Indians’ roster.

The big signings are not happening in terms of signing other teams’ free agents. Nothing significant is on the horizon as we wait for the spring training games to arrive. Like it or not, but the re-signing of outfielder Michael Brantley was the Cleveland Indians‘ 2017 headlined signing.

Being that Cleveland has lost more than they have added, how they go about adjusting their roster in the meantime is the big question.

The Tribe already lost relievers Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Boone Logan. Could more changes in the bullpen occur? They very well may but luckily not this offseason.‘s Jordan Bastain recently discussed how Cleveland’s ability to re-sign Cody Allen and Andrew Miller would affect their chances to contend. Both are potential free agents next offseason.

"Saying all that, closer Cody Allen and relief ace Andrew Miller can become free agents next winter. If the Indians are unable to retain or replace them, that’s a huge hole to fill at the back of the bullpen. When you factor that into the equation, yes, this coming season seems critical for Cleveland to capitalize on its current window."

The contracts relievers are signing this offseason will impact how teams like Cleveland go about keeping their bullpen arms moving forward. On Friday,‘s Jeff Passan reported that reliever Wade Davis signed a three-year deal for $52 million.

More from Factory of Sadness

Earlier this month, Shaw signed a deal worth $27 million according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Being that both Allen and Miller could leave next offseason, there is no excuse that is good enough that would favor the way Cleveland has conducted business in recent weeks. According to, Allen was 3-7 with 30 saves and a 1.7 WAR last season. He will make $7.35 million next season. Miller on the hand, 4-3 with a 3.1 WAR in 2017. He will make $9 million next season.

If Cleveland had to choose just one, the likely choice would be Allen because he’s one of the best closers in the game and will be cheaper in the long run. With Cleveland not being a big market, every cent means something. Allen could be looking at a $13 million/year contract while Miller could land a $15 million/year contract. If either signs for more, that wouldn’t be surprising.

Perhaps the window is closing even faster than one thought. Don’t expect either key Tribe reliever to sign a long-term deal.

If they won’t sign Smith or even make a stronger push to a degree for 1B Carlos Santana for that matter, then it’s clear no extension should be assumed.

I’m not saying that 2018 will be a struggle to watch. However, I am saying to limit the Indians’ expectations for next season.

Next: Thome and Vizquel HOF voting update

Barring them making signficant moves between now and this time next year, Cleveland could end up winning between 65-80 games sooner rather than later.