The Cleveland Indians are in a unique situation. They need to fix their weaknesses of the outfield and the bullpen, but they do not have the money to do that. Reports from Paul Hoynes indicate that the Indians have had discussions for three team deals on a couple of players. The Indians need to make some trades and these three players are likely candidates for the Indians to part ways with this offseason.
The reports that are circling in Las Vegas at the Winter Meetings are that multiple teams are interested in the slugger. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, the Seattle Mariners, and Colorado Rockies. Encarnacion is making $20 million for the upcoming season and has a club option for the 2020 season. The contract might be difficult to deal but there are teams that are willing to take him and that way this can clear the way for some of the younger prospects like Bobby Bradley or a player we could get back in a different trade.
Like Encarnacion, the Rays, Mariners, and the Rockies have interest in the first baseman. Alonso started off hot last season, but in the back half he struggled majorly and it was basically an out every time he went up to the plate. Alonso is only making $8 million for the 2019 season with a $9 million option for the following season. The 31-year-old hit .250 with 23 home runs and 83 RBIs. Like Edwin Encarnacion, trading Alonso would free up room for other prospects to make the leap to the major leagues. The team is also interested in bringing back first baseman Carlos Santana (but on a cheaper price) and trading Alonso to the Mariners could do essentially that. Trading Alonso is a good idea for the Indians and they should do just that.
Kipnis has been a part of trade rumors for the last two seasons and this one will not be any different. Kipnis has struggled at the plate and to stay healthy as well. He does not really have a position, because he is not going to play second base anymore with Jose Ramirez and Yandu Diaz playing second and third base, and Kipnis can’t really play the outfield to the effectiveness that a World Series contending team needs it to be at. Kipnis could possibly get attached to one of the bigger trades including Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Overall, trading Kipnis is a good idea for the Indians and they could get a smaller level prospect for Kipnis and allow Yandy Diaz to take over as the everyday third baseman.
Overall, the Indians are going to need to make trades in order to stay competitive and keep their window open for a World Series title. If I were the Indians general manager, I would try to trade all three of these players for MLB ready players and some prospects.