The Cleveland Indians are being written off as a serious contender to win the 2019 World Series, based off their willingness to trade key vets.
If you’re a fan of the Cleveland Indians, get mad, because from a national perspective, the notion of the Tribe as a World Series contender is being buried.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo wrote of the signs indicating the Indians “paring payroll.” Those tip-offs would be the club’s willingness to trade Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and catcher Yan Gomes.
Cafardo’s last sentence on the Tribe was the most chilling.
"Financially, a high payroll probably doesn’t make sense in that market, but for a while they were a very entertaining team."
He’s right. The Indians can win the division without either Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco because the rest of the staff is good enough.
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But those words are also infuriating!
Excuse me Nick, but the Indians are front runners in the Central. They’re probably going to win the Central. We’ll see postseason play in Cleveland for the fourth straight season. Exciting baseball will be played at The Corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
But, if you’er a Tribe fan, you hope the front office knows what its doing, as the rumors emanating from this Mill this week suggest the Tribe is trying to trade Yan Gomes.
Gomes is as good as they get defensively, and still a good threat at the plate, who can hit for power. Gomes hit .266 with 26 doubles, 16 homers and 48 RBIs.
The Indians were wise when they signed Gomes to an extension, but now it’s time to pay up a little, as the backstop is due $9 million next season and $11 million in 2020.
Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes made the point that trading Gomes for prospects would give the Indians some room to spend in free agency, assuming all they get in return is prospects.
Recently, the Dodgers and Mets have been linked to the Tribe in discussing Gomes.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock, the Indians are rumored to be listening on offers for two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, as well as No. 2 starter Carlos Carrasco.
The Indians are trying to play it smart. They know they have players other teams covet. They also know they’re good enough to qualify for the postseason, but not good enough to win the World Series.
The Indians still need to add a player with All-Star potential in the outfield. The Dodgers have players that meet the criteria. If Gomes helps them pull off a trade, fine. But dealing Gomes better not be purely a salary dump on a player that doesn’t get the Indians closer to winning a World Series.
Cleveland’s not going in the tank. Despite what Cafardo wrote, we’ll still see some good baseball because the front office has to know that the time to seriously cash in a championship has to happen in the “Francisco Lindor window.”
But the time is now. The division is weak. No fan who pays attention is asking them to spend like the Yankees. But the powers-that-be better be as smart as they think they are, because they haven’t been for the last 70 years.