Cleveland Indians: Will Tribe be buyers or sellers at MLB trade deadline?

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians approach summer surprising some fans of late, but will the front office be buyers are sellers at the deadline?

Just when many fans were about to bury the Cleveland Indians and the 2019 season, the Tribe’s making it so that their loving public can’t quit them.

After two months of watching really frustrating baseball, the Tribe’s won a little in June, going 13-6. They’re 41-35 overall. All the recent twinning has done though is shave off a couple games from the division leading Twins, who remain 9.0 up.

The rotation has been saved by younger players stepping up and balling out. Shane Bieber,  Zach Plesac, Adam Plutko and Aaron Civale all look like they could unite with Mike Clevinger in the future to form a stellar string of starters.

The bullpen has one of the best units in the league behind American League saves leader Brad Hand.

At the dish, the lineup’s actually been watchable. Carlos Santana has been the standard bearer and deserves to be an All-Star. Francisco Lindor is the best player on the team and plays like it. Oscar Mercado, batting .303, has been a Godsend. Jordan Luplow is Babe Ruth when facing left-handed pitching. Even Jason Kipnis has found the Fountain of 2015, batting .440 in his last seven games.

It’s not fixed, though. Jose Ramirez is still struggling, batting .207 with a .615 OPS.

Recently, a sabermetrics study came out highlighting how everything has gone right for the Twins, and nothing worked from the Indians.

I won’t reheat the oven on it, but basically, EVERYTHING the Twins do turns to gold. This is an argument to play for next season, rather, the Indians should just keep doing what they’re doing and play for the Wild Card.

However, if the opportunity to trade Trevor Bauer or Brad Hand is presented and the Tribe can significantly make their team better for in 2020 and beyond, the avenue has to be explored.

So, will the Tribe be buyers or sellers? MLB writer Jon Heyman recently weighed in on his podcast (43:13), saying he doesn’t see the Indians moving pieces, considering they’re in the race.

"“I think the Indians are going to be willing to listen, but I think it’s going to be winter time for the Indians. They’re in that race. I don’t think they’ll beat the Twins, but they are certainly in the wild card and to be a seller now would be unusual.”"

Heyman believes the front office wouldn’t move their big pieces until after the season. That includes

“If you’re going to go for it, you’re not going to trade Bauer in the middle of the season,” Heyman said.

As Heyman wrapped up his segment talking about the Tribe, he threw out the usual trade candidate, such as Kluber and Hand being moved after the season, but he also threw out the name of Carlos Santana.

His name hasn’t been talked about all that much largely because no one in their right mind wants to think about trading this season’s most consistent player.

Many fans have been clamoring for Bobby Bradley to be promoted, and if the Tribe did deal Santana, Bradley would certainly be a candidate to take over a first base.

Here’s my issue with what Heyman said. While he said the Tribe shouldn’t be sellers, he didn’t say they’ll be buyers, either. Look no further than last winter when it comes to how the Tribe’s front office views the near future. This team isn’t looking to take on money. Rather, they’re looking to shed it.

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That’s why it’s my opinion the Indians should just keep “going for it” the way they are now, but making a couple of key trades that really put them in position to win the division again next season.