Cleveland Indians: How much longer Indians can contend for a World Series

Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

A window for the Cleveland Indians to win a World Series has closed, but rest easy Tribe fans, another one remains open for a couple more seasons.

The Cleveland Indians are done with the 2018 postseason, following a swift kick in the rear from the Houston Astros.

The defending World Champs outmatched the Tribe in every aspect of the game.

And in defeat, one of the Indians’ championship windows to finally win a World Series has ended. Notice, I said ONE window.

The Tribe’s going to lose some familiar faces this offseason.

It starts last last season, when Carlos Santana signed a surpassingly hight contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

This offseason, the losses will ring louder.

All-Star Michael Brantley is already being talked about landing in the National League.  Lonnie Chisenhall will test free agency. He’s injured a lot. Not sure what is market will be. Josh Donaldson will also hit the market.

Most notably, Cody Allen and Andrew Miller have pitched their final inning for the bullpen. Lonnie Chisenhall.

Some familiar names are heading out the door, but another huge window to win the title remains open.

If you’re looking for a date, the Indians should be contenders in the Central through 2021.

That campaign will be the last year the Tribe has control of Francisco Lindor, unless the organization somehow miraculously gets him to sign an extension. I’m not counting on it.

That’s also the last year the Indians will have Corey Kluber, assuming they pick up his team option. New closer Brad Hand is also locked in through 2021.

So that’s three key pieces of a 25-man roster: Your superstar shortstop, your ace and your closer. This doesn’t even consider Kluber will be getting up there in years. He’ll be 35 just after the start of the 2021 campaign.

In truth that 2021 window may start closing after 2020, when the Tribe could lose Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer. Carrasco will be a free agent and Bauer will no longer be under team control.

For what it’s worth, Jose Ramirez is here through 2023, so the idea of teaming him up with Lindor in the lineup certainly helps keep that window open as long as Frankie’s in the lineup.

The Indians may get some new life in the coming years, but there’s just no way of telling. Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber look like quality rotation pieces, but they’ve still got a lot to prove.

The bullpen’s also going to need some retooling, although that trade for Hand and Adam Cimber will look even better next year as the Tribe builds around them.

Ultimately, the Tribe’s going to need some outfield pieces, while at the same time, correcting the spot where Jose Ramirez doesn’t play to be a real contender after this season.

Next. Rumors: Brantley to the NL in 2019. dark

Don’t get me wrong. It could be a lot worse, but savvy moves need to be made to get this team into true contender mode.