Is this the year Cleveland goes for it at the trade deadline?
After a strong start to the shortened MLB season, Indians fans have reason to be excited this summer. While they haven’t had the strongest competition so far, they’ve shown signs of promise early on.
So far, the Indians pitching staff has been extremely impressive. In their five games, they’ve only allowed a total of 11 runs. The back end of their rotation was especially impressive, with Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko both pitching six solid innings in their starts. If this remains consistent, the Indians will have a great shot at the AL Central title this season, and maybe more.
The Indians bats aren’t too shabby either. They have two superstars in Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, with solid secondary pieces in Franmil Reyes and Carlos Santana. This team is built for a deep playoff run.
With that said, is it worth it for the Indians to go all-in for a World Series this season? It might be. The Indians have one of the best rosters in the league as it stands and a few moves at the deadline could put them in the conversation as World Series favorites.
We all know everyone thinks the Dodgers and Yankees will meet up in the World Series, but the Indians are one of the only teams in the AL who can compete with the Yankees. In a shortened season, they may as well take their shot and go after them.
Francisco Lindor’s contract plays a huge role in the organization’s decision.
Another huge factor that is on Indians fans’ minds is Francisco Lindor’s contract. Indians ownership doesn’t seem too keen on giving the shortstop a massive deal when he becomes a free agent in 2022. There have been constant trade rumors swirling around the superstar in recent years. If the Indians aren’t going to sign him when he hits free agency, it would make sense for them to trade him this offseason. This may be their best chance at a World Series with Lindor still on the roster.
If there’s one need the Indians would look for at the deadline, it would be an outfield bat. One target the Indians could look at is Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are off to a tough start and it looks like they could be sellers at the deadline.
Benintendi is a player who’s shown great potential, but may need a change of scenery in order to recapture the success he saw earlier in his career. Benintendi was a big part of the 2018 World Series winning team, hitting .290 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs that season. He’s also consistently been a great fielder in his four seasons in the MLB.
The season is still extremely young. If the Indians start to falter as the season progresses, we could see them trade Lindor this season in order to get a better return. However, if they keep playing the way they are, they should absolutely go for it at the deadline.