Seeing the Cleveland Indians continue to spend money is great. The execution of it has been the issue.
In recent seasons, the Cleveland Indians have been a World Series contender. For the foreseeable future that should continue as long as the franchise fills the needs they have and envision soon will be dealing with.
Cleveland has made some impactful moves, including adding 3B Josh Donaldson in July. However, had Cleveland spent with more urgency, perhaps they would be having a shot at home field advantage rather than just being a team who will finish with less than 95 wins.
Winning the division is great but it would be nice if Cleveland had a record that was better than some of the teams in the hunt for an AL wildcard spot. According to cleveland.com‘s Terry Pluto via Spotrac, Cleveland’s payroll is 14th at $142 million. That is an increase of $11 million from 2017 when they were 18th. Now, part of the increase is due to players getting more money with their contracts progressing throughout its duration but nonetheless.
To Cleveland’s ownership, they deserve plenty of credit, especially after upgrading their bullpen. That said, there is room for credit. The Indians signed Yonder Alonso for two years and $15 million to replace Carlos Santana who got a $60 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Alonso has a slash line of .242/.308/.420/.728 with 23 homers, 79 RBI, and an OPS+ of 93.
Pretty solid numbers for a player at that position on such a team friendly deal. Then again, the issue in the outfield still is there. Cleveland did add Leonys Martin but because of health problems, Martin did not play much this season. That was out of the team’s control but wasn’t was Cleveland’s opportunities to add one or more options this past offseason and earlier this season to help the outfield.
Instead, Cleveland will be having Jason Kipnis play the outfield rather than an established outfielder(s) in the playoffs. Yes, Kipnis did play the outfield in the past for the Tribe and was an outfielder initially but he is a 2B and has been up until his move to the OF, despite his inconsistencies for a while now, so thankfully Donaldson is in NE Ohio now.
If ownership does what it takes to upgrade the outfield this upcoming offseason, then they will be deserving of even more credit! The outfield is the team’s biggest concern as the rest of the squad is consistent and have does a good job. Looking ahead, once they determine what their plan is for a long-term option at first and added outfielders help and go through with it, that nearly likely $150+ million will look even better in 2019 when the Indians are once again competing for a championship.