Not-So-New-Look Cleveland Indians: 2017 Off-season by Michael Maloof ’18 and Jeff Santa ’18

 

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

No team is more disappointed than the Cleveland Indians. They were one win away from winning a World Series, and were not even supposed to be there. So what did they do to make sure they get back? Shake and Bake is here to update you on the recent moves the Indians have made.

One of the under-the-radar moves the Indians have made was acquiring Boone Logan in free agency. The left handed relief pitcher had a 3.69 ERA last season for the Colorado Rockies and is sure to be of use in Terry Francona’s pitcher-heavy system. In an attempt to find more arm talent, the Indians also signed righties Carlos Frías and Steve Delabar and left hander Kelvin De La Cruz to minor league deals in hopes that the prolific pitching staff the Indians have can coach up some new talent.

The faithful bullpen and starting pitchers the Indians have become known for have all made a comeback this year. The team’s starting ace, Corey Kluber, is accompanied by the well known arms of Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin who together carried the team through the postseason. Coming back off of injury are starters Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco to go alongside returning bullpen arms Dan Otero, Brian Shaw, Zach McAllister, Kyle Crockett, Cody Allen, and ALCS MVP Andrew Miller.

On the other side of the ball, the Indians signed center fielder Austin Jackson to a minor league deal who has a career .272 batting average and hit .254 the past season (2016 season) for the Chicago White Sox. The Tribe are looking for options to fill out an outfield that suffered the losses of Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp at the end of the season to free agency. Both Davis and Crisp played an instrumental role in the Indians postseason run on offense and defense. Perhaps most notably, Davis was the one that slammed the game-tying home run in Game 7 of the World Series in which the Indians, unfortunately, came up short.

Currently, the Tribe have an covert concoction of Abraham Almonte, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Guyer, and Tyler Naquin at their disposal to play the outfield this coming season. The hopeful return of 2014 breakout star Michael Brantley leaves another bright spot for the outfield play this coming season. While a majority the players currently on the roster for the Tribe may be virtually unknown to the rest of the baseball fanbase outside of Cleveland, they are the ones that took the world by surprise and helped this team make a Cinderella run to the World Series and come one win short of winning it all. These guys are nothing to scoff at, and they would love to prove to the world once again that just because they aren’t big name players doesn’t mean they can’t play.

While they only made a few offseason moves to acquire new, mediocre talent, the Cleveland Indians could have been the team to win free agency because of the one huge splash they made. Designated hitter Edwin “Walk the Parrot” Encarnación is joining the Chief Wahoo Tribe after spending last season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Eddie had a stellar season last year tying his career high in home runs with 42 and setting a career high with 127 RBIs during his 2016 campaign. Encarnación, perhaps the largest name in this offseason, provides the Indians with another power right-handed hitter that they needed to play with Carlos Santana and replace the loss of Mike Napoli.

The Indians return the core of guys that carried them to the 2016 World Series and kept most of the supporting players in town as well. The roster that features the well known, strong pitching staff and key players José Ramírez Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Roberto Perez, the return of Yan Gomes, along the newest edition of Edwin Encarnación are currently the favorites to win the 2017 World Series. With the bitter taste of last season ending still lingering, the Tribe have some #UnfinishedBusiness to attend to starting April 11th that doesn’t stop until Chief Wahoo raises the Commissioner’s Trophy in late October.

 

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