The MLB offseason is well underway and really only one big free agent has been signed in Patrick Corbin. This leads to many quality free agents that the Cleveland Indians can target. Their main needs are still their bullpen and the outfield and with limited money, names aren’t going to be flashy. Anyhow here are five players the Indians should target this offseason.
Andrew McCutchen has been linked to the Indians for the past couple of seasons and now is likely the best time for the Tribe to grab him. McCutchen would provide the lone steady outfielder for the Indians and he could be that two hitters to likely replace Michael Brantley. Cutch is a long time off from his MVP season in 2013 by only hitting .255 last season with both the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees. McCutchen could also provide that veteran leadership that is not necessarily needed to the Indians but is always a plus. The Indians will need to shed some salary in order to sign McCutchen.
Overall, if the Indians can shed enough money, then McCutchen could sign for 3 years for around $42 million.
Billy Hamilton was a surprise non-tender player from the Cincinnati Reds this offseason. Hamilton has out of this world speed and has reached 50 stolen bases in four of his last five seasons. The speedster has had his struggles at the plate and this is one of the main reasons that he is a free agent right now. The Indians have had interest and nearly struck a deal for him in the last couple of years. Hamilton would be able to provide that base stealing threat and be able to great steady platoon playing time with the Indians because of the depleted outfield.
Overall, Hamilton would likely sign a one or two year deal for around $2 to $4 million per year.
Andrew Miller was once one of if not the top reliever in the MLB in 2016. Over the past two seasons, Miller had struggled with injuries and to get back to being fully healthy. If he can get healthy he can return to being one of the top relievers in the MLB and really lock down the back end of the Indians bullpen along with Brad Hand. Miller could resign with the Indians for a hefty price and like McCutchen, would require the Indians to shed some players salaries. A backend of Miller and Hand would be one of the better in the league.
Overall, Allen could sign for 3 years for around $45-$50 million.
Like Miller, we have all seen what Cody Allen can do out of the bullpen over the last seven seasons. Allen has been an anchor in the Indians pen and is now on the market looking for a team to take on his talents. The Indians should look at him because while he did have a rough year last season, he has been one of the mainstays in the bullpen that was one of the leagues best in 2016 and 17. Allen is probably going to cost a bit but would be affordable for the Indians. He could resign here for maybe a hometown discount as well.
Overall, Allen could sign for 3 years for around $45 million.
Pollock is another name that in order for the Indians to sign, they will need to rid themselves of some bigger contracts. He is one of the more intriguing names out for the Indians to look at. He is a centerfielder that could also play the corner spots as well. Pollock has been productive for the Arizona Diamondbacks in his time there and would make a great addition to the Tribe’s lineup. He hit .257 last season while also having an on-base percentage of .316. He is a top of the order hitter and would be a nice addition to the Indians this offseason.
Overall, if the Indians can shed enough money, then Pollock could sign for 3 years for around $50 million.
Until the Indians can trade one of their top pitchers in Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer (likely within the next few weeks), they will not be able to sign a big name to a contract. They will shoot for the lesser names and take the chances they need to. These five names are targets that are realistic enough for the Indians to sign and continue to stay competitive in the American League.