The Cleveland Indians open slots may be a sign the team will look at free agents for the shortened season.
The Cleveland Indians’ decision to keep roster spots open on their 60-man roster makes sense, especially if it’s to pursue an inexpensive free agent or two. While some may be a bit perplexed why a team would keep roster spots open as they have, the decision is actually rather logical. Keeping spots open allows the team to make moves through waivers or free agent signings in case talent, for whatever reason, is unable to make the club.
There’s no guarantee that there isn’t some talent that opt-out of the season. There’s also no guarantee that a team doesn’t deal with some sort of injury situation Nor is there a guarantee that the team won’t be hit with a flood of positive Covid-19 cases. Keeping those spots free allows players to be added to the roster without having to remove names from the list. The list apparently isn’t very easy to remove names from, so the Indians and other MLB teams won’t be looking to drop names that often. Not unless they have to.
Does this mean the Indians will go after Yasiel Puig or some other high priced free agent that’s still on the market? No, quite the opposite. The team isn’t going to lob money at a player like Puig who has never shown a fair value for his production (or lack thereof). The Indians may go after a guy or two who can come in with rather affordable contracts but only if the team is in desperate need.
For instance, the team may not have any desire in a Russell Martin, but if every catcher goes down with Covid-19, or get injured, that may change. Plus there’s always a chance that a proven veteran gets cut for one reason or another, like a Brian Dozier, and that could open up an opportunity for the Tribe to pounce on them.
The move to keep roster spots open is just good planning. There’s no reason to worry about every spot just yet. While the fans may have issues with how the Indians management and ownership handle contracts of their star players, no one can ever say that the front office doesn’t always find a way to squeeze just a little more blood from the stone than anyone thought possible.