This past week, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal wrote that even though the Cleveland Indians received a windfall from their post-season appearance that culminated in a World Series berth that went the distance, the Tribe front office was not going to change the way they do business.
We agree that the Indians should not go hog wild spending huge dollars on players on the decline. They learned a valuable lesson when they inked Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn after the 2012 season.
However, that cash should be looked at as found money. So, why don’t the Indians live a little?
Think about if you won the lottery, or won some money at the casino, would you use all that windfall on bills or put in all in the bank? Probably not all of it.
You would spend some on yourself, buy yourself something you normally wouldn’t get because it is better to spend it on necessities.
Live a little. Splurge on something fun and cool.
Or in baseball terms, sign a free agent or make a deal where you can take on some salary, taking advantage of a less successful small market team.
Obviously, the name that stands out is Edwin Encarnacion, who has been one of the game’s premier sluggers for five years running, and would be an upgrade over Mike Napoli, whether you want to admit it or not.
Besides adding production to the lineup, the added benefit would be with the ticket buying public. A big signing would continue the momentum the Indians received with their playoff run.
Right now, the inactivity is causing them to be an afterthought in the media right now.
There is no question that the front office has the faith of baseball fans throughout the area, based on last season’s success. But there is nothing wrong with getting more talent to improve your margin for error.
This isn’t to say the Indians can’t win the division again next season if they re-sign Napoli and Rajai Davis. However, the odds that they will have similar seasons to 2016 at their respective ages is slim. So, the team has to make up for that.
And as much as we want to talk about Michael Brantley’s return, the truth is he’s had just 39 at bats since the end of the 2015 season, and we don’t know if he will be productive, and if he’s productive, how many games will he be healthy enough to play in in 2017.
You also have to wonder if Carlos Santana can hit as many home runs as he did in 2016, when he set a career best.
Our point is the Indians probably need to upgrade the offense, because even though they were second in the AL in runs scored, a lot of things went their way to allow them to achieve that spot.
You can’t bank on those things again.
Our message to Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff is to have some fun with your windfall. Don’t go crazy. Don’t act like the Red Sox or Dodgers, but go out and buy yourself something nice. You deserve it after getting the Tribe to the seventh game of the World Series.