Are the Chicago White Sox ready to be significantly better than the Cleveland Indians?
The Cleveland Indians are a hard team to read as we head into the offseason. The Chicago White Sox had a difficult time with them in 2020 but those two and the Minnesota Twins were the class of the AL Central this season. They are likely going to be the three best teams in the division for the next year or two as well. We know the White Sox are going to be good for a long time but each team is different.
The Cleveland Indians have some interesting decisions to make during this offseason and a lot of those decisions will decide whether or not they are a good team going forward. It feels like they were so good for so long but a soft rebuild might be on the horizon there. They have the best pitching and defense around but they can’t hit.
One of their best hitters over the past few years has been Francisco Lindor. He has been one of the best shortstops both offensively and defensively for a long time now. The Indians are reportedly going to shop him around this offseason and one lucky team is probably going to land him. They are going to get a big haul for him it will likely be a haul that helps them in the future more than the present.
Lindor turns 27 next week. He has a lot of elite play left in him. The short 60 game season wasn’t his best season but he started to come on strong at the end. In a full 162 game season, he will be back to being one of the ten best players in the world. He has two Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves in his career which show how good he is at both parts of the game.
If the Indians trade him, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are rebuilding. As mentioned before, they have some of the best pitching and defense in the American League so if they can find a way to improve their offense they are a legit contender. The problem is that their offense gets even worse when Lindor is taken out of the equation.
If they do strangely rebuild rather than retool, that will certainly help the White Sox. Both the White Sox and Twins would both like to see the Indians get worse by design. It would make the next little stretch in their franchise history easier if one of their elite division rivals got worse. Hopefully, if they do trade Lindor, he goes away to the National League.