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A Quick Look At the Cleveland Indians Offseason Moves
Photo by: Erik Drost

We have not even flipped our calendars yet, but the Cleveland Indians have already retooled their 2019 MLB season roster. In doing so, they have cleared enough cap space to retain starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, after rumors of potentially trading one of them.

Remember, this is an Indians ball club that won 91 games and the American League Central in 2018.

This all started with a trade of catcher Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals. In return, Cleveland received Daniel Johnson and Jefry Rodriguez. Gomes started 111 games at the catcher position last year and now Roberto Perez will have to double his workload. Gomes hit .266 with 16 home runs over 403 at bats. Perez hit .168 with two home run in 178 ABs. Clearly, this is a huge downgrade offensively.

After nearly setting Twitter on fire with conflicting reports of a three-team trade between the Indians, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, we finally understand which players were dealt and what teams acquired whom.

The Indians got Carlos Santana back but had to trade Edwin Encarnacion and Yandy Diaz. Encarnacion went to the Mariners (for now) and Diaz & Cole Sulser were traded to the Rays. Tampa sent Jake Bauers to Cleveland.

Santana was recently acquired by Seattle in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies and is happy to be back in Cleveland.

Just 23 years old, Bauers hit just .201 over 323 MLB at bats last season, striking out in 26.8% of his ABs. However, he tallied 22 doubles and 11 home runs. Bauers was acquired with no open position for him, but the Indians front office made another move to clear the way at first base.

Cleveland's General Manger, Mike Chernoff, moved quickly to open up 1B for Bauers by trading Yonder Alonzo to the Chicago White Sox for Alex Call.

With these recent moves, the Indians have cut payroll by ~$18 mil, In order to do so, they traded away 72 home runs from last season. They also are without Michael Brantley (17 home runs) who is a free agent. Leonys Martin is currently their starting center fielder.

Jose Ramirez (39) and Francisco Lindor (38) are the only players on the team from last year that hit at least 20 home runs. Even if Santana hits another 24 in 2019 and Bauers increases his HR total to the 15-18 range, they would still be short about 45 home runs. That is going to be difficult to replace.

The Indians scored the 6th most runs in the MLB last year and one of just 10 teams to score 200+ runs. They were 7th in team ISO and no team was harder to strike out than Cleveland.

Can this new Cleveland Indians lineup repeat last years success? We will find out soon enough, as MLB Opening Day is March 28, 2019 - the earliest opening day in baseball history!