Baseball has a problem staring it in the face and no more obvious is that dilemma apparent than at the downtown Cleveland offices of the franchise soon-to-be remembered as the Indians.
Plenty of uncertainty loomed over the state of the Major League Baseball landscape with the persistent public squabbles that put the 2020 season in jeopardy due to the safety and logistical concerns created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the country beginning ten months ago. While owners and players were ultimately able to get in 60 unattended regular season games at a financial loss, the ramifications of the lost revenues cast a gray cloud over the game as teams have had to adapt and adjust to the changed marketplace. The disjointed relationships between owners and players and the fiscal damages sustained, plus the wrecking ball smashed into the minor league system, all spell some unpleasant feelings about how negotiations may transpire as time ticks away on baseball’s most recent collective bargaining agreement, set to expire on December 1 of this year.
As for the Cleveland baseball club, the efforts of the front office this offseason seem to spell out both doom and gloom as the perennial playoff contending roster has been systematically dismantled for cheaper alternatives while once again putting the organization in a negative spotlight. Most recently in the news for its decision to rebrand for 2022 in the sake of political correctness, now the Dolan-led front office group is being criticized for having an active team salary base that is less than individual one-year commitments that teams have made to several dozens of the game’s brightest stars. Thursday’s trade of future big earner Francisco Lindor and moderate investment Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets further highlighted the Indians’ extensive cost-cutting efforts.
If the team was looking to roll out “Pennypinchers”, “Scrooges”, or “Misers” as its new moniker moving forward, it has hit the ground running in embracing the name.
Cleveland fans were warned in March of 2019 to “enjoy him”, but the long anticipated move finally happened on Thursday as the Indians announced the trade of four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets.
Joining Lindor in relocating to Queens was starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, the longest tenured representative of the franchise and a fan favorite after his public battle with leukemia two seasons ago. His name was floated about some during the Winter Meetings, but with several years of control at what was perceived as a reasonable cost, his inclusion frees up significant finances over the next few years from a position of strength in the Indians organization. The Indians have previously over the last several years dealt from the starting rotation, removing Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Corey Kluber for packages of prospects or just general salary relief.