Last year, the Cleveland Indians made one of the biggest free agent signings of the winter. The guaranteed $60 million for three years doled out to slugger Edwin Encarnacion was the richest contract handed out in club history.
So, as this winter’s hot stove season starts to heat up, what will the Indians do for an encore performance? Is there another splashy signing in the near future? The reality is there does not need to be and probably will not be.
For the Indians, this winter is and should be more about taking care of their own free agents than going outside the organization to bring in another big-time player.
While the 2017 Major League Baseball season just came to a close with the Houston Astros’ Game 7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series on Wednesday night, teams and players are already hard at work preparing for the 2018 season.
For fans who have not gotten their fill of baseball for the season, there is plenty of action of all varieties still going on around the globe.
With some big questions looming over the Indians roster for the 2018 season, two of those were answered on Friday as Cleveland announced that team options on outfielder Michael Brantley and starting pitcher Josh Tomlin were picked up, giving the two long-time Tribe veterans at least one more season in town.
The decision on Tomlin’s option was much easier to make than Brantley’s, but both players were retained as Tomlin provided another consistent season for the Indians while Brantley lost a half season while dealing with significant injuries for a second straight year.
The Cleveland Indians formally announced on Thursday afternoon that former Tribe reliever Scott Atchison had been hired as the bullpen coach on manager Terry Francona‘s staff for the 2018 season.
The coaching shakeup in Cleveland found some resolution with the …
Asdrubal Cabrera is once again rewarded for his breakout season at the plate as he is named the winner of the Silver Slugger Award in the American League at shortstop. It is the first and only time in his career he has received the honor.
Because of the Indians’ quick – dare I say premature – playoff exit, we were deprived of a potential rematch of the 1920 World Series.
That was the first appearance in the Fall Classic for both teams, with the Indians prevailing in seven games (in the penultimate best-of-nine World Series). That World Series is also notable for being the first pitting two brothers against each other. Doc Johnston played for the Indians; his brother Jimmy played for the Dodgers.
The teams remained apart for most of the 20th century – with the distance increased after the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles, their home since 1958.
But for a few small changes in fortune, the Indians and Dodgers could have been rivals in the 1950s and 1960s.
While trying to compose a lineup of all-time Cleveland Indians players with names worthy of Halloween, I quickly realized that such a task was going to prove difficult.
While there were butchers (Hank Butcher, John Butcher) and doctors (Doc Edwards, Doc Gooden), Danny Graves, and even one Mysterious Walker, compiling a list left me far too short of completing a worthy lineup.
But it also reminded me of one important thing about Halloween – don’t forget Candy.