The Cleveland Indians are coming off back to back disappointing seasons and they need to continue to improve their lackluster positions if they want to contend for a World Series title. The main area of need is the outfield and potentially a few other spots like first base and the bullpen. Here are five names that the Indians should go after this offseason.
It is no secret that Yonder Alonso struggled toward the end of the season last year and did almost nothing in the playoffs. The Indians could look to upgrade the first base position with a great hitter in Jose Abreu. His name has been on the trade market for a while and the White Sox would like to get rid of him before he can hit free agency and continue their rebuild. The Indians can use a power hitter that can also hit for contact as he hit .300 last season. Abreu would likely cost us a top prospect and then some. Likely a Nolan Jones or George Valera.
The Indians need to upgrade their outfield with the likely departure of Michael Brantley and a big hole in right field. Carlos Gonzalez has spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies so his stats can be a little skewed. Gonzalez would provide power to the Indians right field spot and most importantly provide some stability to a position that hasn’t seen it since who knows how long. Gonzalez would not cost a ton since he is 33-years-old, but it would cost a middle of the pack prospect like a Mitch Longo or Oscar Gonzalez.
Recent reports have shown that the White Sox are willing to move on from their starting right fielder Avisial Garcia to make room for Eloy Jimenez. Garcia is a career .271 hitter that destroyed the Indians over the past couple of seasons. Garcia would easily upgrade the Indians roster and add a consistent five-hole hitter to provide some protection for Edwin Encarnacion. Since I think the White Sox are really trying to get rid of Garcia, the Indians should be able to get a good price on him. It should only cost them a couple of lower level prospects.
Domingo Santana has been linked to the Indians since the beginning of last season when the Brewers acquired both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. With the Indians having a surplus of starting pitching depth, the Indians should be able to land Sanatana. He struggled a lot last season going from a 30 HR Hitter in 2017 to a 5 HR hitter last season. This drop off should lower the price for him but still would be somewhat high because he is only 26-years-old. Sanatan still has a lot of pop in his bat and would provide a powerful bat in right field for years to come as he still has three years on control left. Santana would likely cost a top pitching prospect like Sam Hentges or Luis Oviedo, plus some more MLB ready pitching like Danny Salazar or Adam Plutko.
Castellanos was a name that came around trade talks at the trade deadline for the Indians, but the Tigers decided to stick with him. Castellanos is the lone remaining Tiger that would be able to bring anything of significance in return. Although he could bring back something it would not be a ton as he only has one more year of arbitration left before free agency. The 26-year-old is a career .274 hitter and is seven HR’s away from hitting 100 for his career. A package for Castellanos from the Indians would likely be Tyler Kieger and Johnathan Rodriguez or Mitch Longo.
The Indians would be smart to grab one or multiple of these players that are likely to be available for trade this offseason. They can still remain competitive as long as they shore up the outfield positions and a few other spots.