The Cleveland Indians have many naysayers among fans and media, but the fact remains they have a solid chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
There are several teams in the mix for a post-season berth, and many of them have made moves to bolster their rosters for the stretch drive.
For example, the Yankees traded for Alfonso Soriano, who has belted 11 home runs for the Bronx Bombers since coming over in July.
The Rangers traded for Matt Garza, the Red Sox for Jake Peavy, and the Oakland A’s acquired INF Alberto Callaspo.
Even the Royals, who have since fallen to the wayside of the race, picked up Emilio Bonifacio from Toronto to help them.
Yesterday, the Pirates, gunning for their first post-season spot since Barry Bonds was on the team, went out and traded for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Those players mentioned aren’t going to the Hall of Fame, but they are upgrades over what their new teams had, so they are upgrades.
To this point, the Indians’ addition is lefthanded reliever Mark Rzepczynski, who has helped Terry Francona’s bullpen, but doesn’t add up to the other names listed so far.
With the Indians’ offense reaching the feeble stage in August, they rank last in the American League in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage for the month, it is frustrating and puzzling that the Tribe front office hasn’t made a move.
Francona says all the right things, he is happy with his roster as constituted and they will get through this period where the offense is struggling.
However, he privately has to be telling GM Chris Antonetti that he needs someone who can hit or his club will fall short of advancing to the playoffs.
Other teams are doing something, why can’t Antonetti?
Getting a bat would send a message to the clubhouse that the front office is all in for this season as well. Former GM John Hart made it a point to make a deal at the deadline every year the Indians were in contention.
While you don’t want to mortgage the future to get someone who will likely be with the team for one month, but usually you can get these types of players for a middling prospect.
And the Indians have plenty of those.
For those who will say the Tribe is a year early in contending, just take a look at the Washington Nationals. Most experts felt it was a forgone conclusion they would make the playoffs in 2013, but it doesn’t appear they will.
So, you have to go out and improve this team right now, before it’s too late.
When the ownership wonders why people haven’t taken to this team, this is one of the reasons. It appears the front office doesn’t take the necessary steps to improve when everyone around them does.
And we don’t believe for one minute that when teams make deals with other teams they ask for low-end prospects, but they ask the Indians for guys like Francisco Lindor and Danny Salazar.
The pressure is on Antonetti to make this team better for the last 31 games. And the sooner the move is made, the better.
The bats don’t seem to be getting any more productive.