The Indians lost a few players to free agency this offseason, with two of the biggest names being infielders Mike Aviles and Chris Johnson. Aviles wasn’t great overall in his three-year stint with the Indians, hitting lefties well but ultimately finishing with a disappointing .244/.279/.345 slash line, in just over 1,000 plate appearances. Johnson was a partial-season loaner from Atlanta, performing decently in 27 games and 93 trips to the plate, hitting .289/.316/.367. Aviles and Johnson’s roles will likely be filled by Jose Ramirez, who projects to be the only infielder on the Indians bench this year.
Cleveland also lost outfielder Ryan Raburn, who played well in a backup role with the club in 2015. Appearing in 82 games and getting 201 plate appearances, the 34-year-old hit .301/.393/.543 with 16 doubles, eight homers, and a respectable 23:44 BB:K ratio. Raburn is not an impact player, but his absence will leave a question mark in the Indians’ outfield depth, at least until Brantley returns from his shoulder injury. Butler and Cowgill will fill Raburn’s role to begin 2016, with the main backup duties being handed to Abraham Almonte or Lonnie Chisenhall after that.
The Indians lost a trio of pitchers to free agency, including C.C. Lee and Gavin Floyd, who both pitched very minimally in the majors in 2015. The one significant piece they lost was left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone, who signed with Milwaukee after being granted free agency in December. Hagadone appeared in 36 games and pitched 27.1 innings for the Indians in his fifth major-league season, finishing with a 4.28 ERA, 3.83 FIP and 1.537 WHIP with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks. Hagadone wasn’t an impact bullpen arm, and entering his age-30 season he’ll look to simply provide serviceable relief pitching for the rebuilding Brewers.