The Cleveland Indians can still compete after making a big trade and should focus on several moves to become favorites in the division.
That news is a bummer to fans even if it is an expectation at this point. However, trading Lindor is not going to sink the season if the team avoids a full-on rebuild. The Indians front office has already slashed spending and not paying Lindor his massive salary frees up even more money.
There are several things the Indians can do to ensure they enter 2021 as favorites to win the American League Central once again.
3 things the Indians must to do be AL Central favorites3. Trade Lindor for prospects and MLB-ready outfield talent
The Indians have Shane Bieber as the ace and the rest of the rotation is capable of carrying this team. The holes come in the field and the lineup, mainly in the outfield.
A trade of Lindor will surely command a nice haul of prospects, likely similar to the Mookie Betts deal. While nice for the future, the Indians still have pieces on the roster to help win now. There is no reason to waste precious years of Bieber, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Carrasco, and more.
That means the front office should inquire about adding MLB-ready starting outfielders in any Lindor deal. This does not have to include a superstar player. The Indians just need some experience in the outfield to go along with all the young players fighting for playing time.
The likes of Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, Jordan Luplow, Daniel Johnson, Jake Bauers, and Oscar Mercado, among others, will be competing for starting roles. Getting a proven player into the mix means Terry Francona won’t have to constantly shuffle and platoon his lineup from the start.
If a team is willing to include several top prospects in a Lindor trade, they aren’t going to let it fall through for one starter from their lineup.