The Cleveland Indians enter the trade deadline stuck well behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central standings. Heck, even the club’s Wild Card chances are dim, as Cleveland is 5.0 games back entering July 29.
The diehard in me always hoped this version of the Indians would contend–even with a bottom two payroll–Realistically, though, 2021 has always been a “find out about” year.
Whether we’re talking about position players who are looking to hang onto their MLB jobs, or prospects looking to prove they’re ready to make the jump, or younger pitchers who need to prove they can hold onto a spot in the rotation, Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff have to find out what they’ll have for 2022 and beyond.
Fortunately, the future isn’t all that glum. Cleveland has a young roster, and at one point, the team was 9.0 games over .500. They hit some bumps in the road in July, but Terry Francona’s teams typically well in August and September.
The point is the Tribe is expected to spend a little bit more in 2022 and with younger players on the rise, the Tribe could surprise fans next season, especially if the rotation stays in tact.
Here’s three predictions for Friday’s MLB trade deadline–and no, I don’t see J-Ram going anywhere, although, shameless plug, if he does, look at these five potential destinations.