The Cleveland Indians have been at or near the top of this division for most of the decade. They even have a World Series appearance as recent as 2016. They weren’t able to get it done in that series unfortunately but there is no doubt that they have been one of the elite teams in the American League for a long time. They still have some really good players on their team but there is no doubt that the prime of the team is in the past and there is room for a new team to dominate the division for the next half-decade.
We received some insight on the Cleveland Indians’ offseason needs from Believeland Ball site expert Steven Kubitzka. He was thoughtful about the things he believes the Indians need to do and this is what he had to say:
"“The Cleveland Indians are once again fighting for the division crown. Yet the top question of the day, every single day, is what the team is going to do with Francisco Lindor. He is under team control for two more seasons. There is a zero percent chance he hits free agency, so if he won’t accept the team’s best offer it is time to trade him. Sad, but true. This is where the offseason is up in the air. If he stays, re-signing someone like Yasiel Puig stands out as a smart move. It is hard to make predictions and begin talking money until we find out the 2020 plans for Lindor. If he is indeed traded, it must be for some major-league ready talent. The Indians already have a dominant rotation with the only needs really being another outfield bat, like Puig, and some experience in the bullpen. Yet the latter is always a work in progress for every team throughout any given season. Thus, the focus remains on Lindor.”"
Francisco Lindor has been one of the best players in all of baseball for a long time. He constantly puts up elite numbers and ranks amongst the best shortstops in the league. He had a 4.7 WAR so clearly he impacts the game in ways that most players can’t. He hit 32 home runs and had 74 RBIs for Cleveland last year along with a .284 batting average.
It feels like the offseason of the Cleveland Indians solely depends on what Lindor decides to do. If he gives them a reason to trade him then there is no doubt that the Indians will spend that money elsewhere but they are going to be a worse team because of it. This could be a situation that the White Sox are able to take advantage of on the field.