Cleveland Indians: 2016 Offseason Report Card

David Maxwell/Getty Images North America

David Maxwell/Getty Images North America

Final Grade: C+

Hindered by significant financial restriction, the Indians are largely unable to make moves in the free-agent market, instead opting for cheap value plays like Davis and Napoli to fill holes in their roster. While you can’t fault them for their efforts in improving the roster on a limited budget, the Indians are competing in a tough division with almost every team having one reason or another to consider themselves contenders for a playoff spot. However, the Indians don’t seem to have the type of offensive potency needed to compete with the defending World Series Champion Royals or the loaded lineup of Detroit.

The biggest knock on the Indians’ offseason would likely be their failure to move a starting pitcher. While it may seem counter-intuitive to give away major league talent when they are seemingly trying to compete in the division, but bolstering the weak offense or acquiring assets for the future may have been the more beneficial move, with Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco garnering serious trade interest in the offseason. Should the Indians fail to compete in 2016, and both young pitchers regress some, the Indians and Chris Antonetti may regret not moving one of the two while their trade value was high.

Overall, the Indians likely didn’t get any worse this offseason, but they didn’t make any moves that would increase their chances of winning in the future. With good seasons by Napoli and Davis as well as incumbent starters like Brantley, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes, the Indians may have a shot at the playoffs, but if that fails to happen the Indians may look back on this offseason as wasted time and effort.

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