MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Cleveland Indians?

MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Cleveland Indians?
Sun 14th February 2021

The Cleveland Indians will see one significant departure after the 2021 season, as the team will be retiring its controversial nickname after having used it for more than a hundred years. The team also saw a significant departure this offseason, as shortstop Francisco Lindor was traded to the New York Mets.

The Indians still hope to make one last run for the World Series before the team changes its nickname for good. The Indians will still compete with the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central, but they made a few free agent acquisitions of value. These moves in the MLB free agency period will help the Indians contend with these clubs in the coming season.

Acquisitions of Note

The Indians signed outfielder Eddie Rosario to a one-year deal. He comes from Minnesota with the hope of getting thirty or more home runs this season. He was one of the top acquisitions in the league this offseason, although the fact that his deal is for one year isn’t going to help much.

The team also signed reliever Trevor Stephan from the New York Yankees. He is one of the top relief pitching prospects in the sport and is expected to contribute to a team that has had some bullpen concerns outside the closing position.

The Indians also retained reliever Nick Wittgren. He will be an essential setup man this season, especially as James Karinchak contains to make a mark as a top-rate closer. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez returns with a new one-year deal. Hernandez had a .283 average with twenty RBI last season.

The Indians collected reliever Jordan Humphreys off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. He did not have any major league experience this prior season and is hoping to make the major league roster in April.

Departures To Spot

Francisco Lindor isn’t the only prominent figure to leave the Cleveland Indians this offseason. The team also saw a few other departures this offseason, although most of them were for players of lesser value.

Infielder Carlos Santana left for the Kansas City Royals, while catcher Sandy Leon went out to the Miami Marlins. Reliever Brad Hand also signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals.

The players had seen diminishing returns the past few years, and there were concerns that these players weren’t going to stick around for more than a year if they were to resign.

Outfielder Delino DeShields departed to the Texas Rangers, where he was invited to spring training through a minor league contract. DeShields had a .252 average last season.

Outfielder Tyler Naquin had his contract non-tendered this offseason. Naquin had four home runs and a .218 average this past season. Second baseman Mike Freeman is also departing the team as a minor league free agent.

Domingo Santana also had his option declined this season. Santana was expected to report to the minors this season after going .157 with two home runs last year.

Elsewhere in the Division

The Indians will be competing mainly with Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox this season. The Twins brought in a few new stars like starting pitcher J.A. Happ and closer Alex Colome. The White Sox made an even more significant move by bringing in closer Liam Hendriks.

The Cleveland Indians will be in a tough spot in 2021 as they try to win the AL Central. The Twins and White Sox will not make things easy for the team. But the club still has plenty of high-value stars that will make the team worth watching.

These players will help the team remain competitive now as the Indians and later regardless of what new nickname the team chooses after this season.

The MLB season is almost upon us! If you are like us, then you are counting down the days until the season opener. But until then, make sure you check out our MLB hub page, for all the latest on what’s going on in baseball.

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