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4.) Cleveland Indians
The Indians are another team that has been very quiet this offseason. Granted, they didn’t have any impact free agents that forced them to dig into their wallets. However, it was believed that Cleveland would be active in the outfield market, especially since the news of Michael Brantley‘s injury leaked out, declaring the All-Star outfielder out of action until May. While the team has not been active in the way that many expected, they have been relatively active. The team has added former Los Angeles Angel Collin Cowgill via a trade, and former Tampa Bay Ray Joey Butler via a waiver claim. The team also has Jose Ramirez and Chris Johnson as possible platoon options in 2016, but that won’t be enough to overcome Brantley’s absence.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 9, 2015
Cleveland has also recently been linked to Cincinnati Reds All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier. The rumors first surfaced at the Winter Meetings, as Bob Nightengale noted that the Indians and Reds met to discuss the availability of the 30-year-old. Frazier would be a major upgrade at third base for the Tribe, as they currently sport Lonnie Chisenhall on the hot corner.
Another popular rumor this offseason surrounding the Indians, has involved their starting pitching. Cleveland possesses one of the most dangerous 1-2-3 pitching combinations in baseball, with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar. Kluber struggled in 2015, but got himself on track as the season went on. In the midst of the 2014 Cy Young Award winner struggling, Carrasco and Salazar put together great campaigns. All three hurlers would be great additions to any team, but the Indians don’t appear willing to move any of them. It was speculated that the Indians could use one of their three studs, in a package for Frazier. Although, it wouldn’t make much sense financially for the team to follow through with the speculation. Frazier’s eligible to be a free agent after the 2017 season, while Salazar and Carrasco have a combined eight years of control left, Salazar has five and Carrasco with three, and a pair of club options.
In a division that has seen the Kansas City Royals win the World Series, the Detroit Tigers sign Jordan Zimmerman, and the Chicago White Sox acquire Brett Lawrie, the Indians clearly have a lot of work left to do, if they wish to compete in 2016.