Even with Spring Training a few weeks away, it still seems unclear if the Indians are rebuilding or not. In spite of shipping off one of their top starters in Corey Kluber, the Indians are still a competitive team on paper. At least, for now. Rumors of Francisco Lindor being traded have been hot and cold all throughout the offseason and a decision has yet to be made, as far as we know. Whatever the team decides to do with Lindor can really set the tone for the rest of the season. With that type of player in limbo, it makes the Indians upcoming season tough to decipher. Luckily for you reading at home, I get to do so and not you.
RP Emmanuel Clase
C Sandy León
2B Cesar Hernandez
OF Delino DeShields
SP Corey Kluber
RP Tyler Clippard
C Kevin Plawecki
The biggest move, by far, has been the trade of Kluber. In return, the Indians received a nice package that included RP Emmanuel Clase and OF Delino DeShields. However, it sent a mixed message about their upcoming season. The Indians are competitive on paper but shipping out their ace of the staff was curious. To be fair, the Indians rotation is still stacked with Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber and Shane Bieber, so all is not lost. While Clase isn’t a household name by any means, he’s a dynamic reliever with a nasty cutter that will be under the Indians’ control for years to come and could pay dividends down the road for this club.
Aside from the Kluber trade, it’s been a very quiet offseason for the Tribe. If it wasn’t for the Lindor trade rumors, the Indians have mostly stayed put. They really seem to be on the boarder of being sellers and if Lindor is moved, could really open the flood gates for other moves. The team will need to address second base at some point and have essentially put a band-aid on the situation by adding Cesar Hernandez on a one-year, $6.2 million contract.
Personally, I think the Indians are in wait-and-see approach for this season. If they come out of the gate slow, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them sell off some pieces and build for the future. DraftKings Sportsbook has their current win total set at 86.5, which feels high to me for a team with so much uncertainty. Personally, I think this is a team total that you could avoid altogether but taking the under would be the play if you wanted action on this. While the Indians are a great team on paper still, a slow start in what could be a weak division overall could warrant hitting the reset button.
Cleveland Indians UNDER 86.5 wins
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