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The 2020 Cleveland Indians

Steve_424

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Before I get attacked, this post is not intended as giving up on 2019. I still believe this team can make a deep October run. But as we enter the final months of 2019, I do think there are several situations to watch that could impact the Indians' 2020 plans.

Free Agents
OF-Yasiel Puig
RP-Tyler Clippard

Under Team Control in 2020
C-Roberto Perez - $3.6 M (2022)
C-Kevin Plawecki - Arbitration-Eligible (2021)
1B-Carlos Santana - $20.8 M (2020)
2B-Jason Kipnis - $16.5 M team option (2020)
2B-Mike Freeman
SS-Francisco Lindor - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
SS-Christian Arroyo - Pre-arbitration
3B-Jose Ramirez $6.6 M (2023)
OF-Tyler Naquin - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
OF-Oscar Mercado - Pre-arbitration
OF-Jordan Luplow - Pre-arbitration
OF-Bradley Zimmer - Pre-arbitration
OF-Greg Allen - Pre-arbitration (2023)
DH-Franmil Reyes - Pre-arbitration (2024)
SP-Corey Kluber -$17.5 M Team option (2021)
SP-Carlos Carrasco - $10.2 M (2023)
SP-Mike Clevinger - Arbitration Eligible (2023)
SP-Shane Bieber - Pre-arbitration
SP-Aaron Civale - Pre-arbitration
SP-Adam Plutko - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
SP-Zach Plesac - Pre-arbitration
SP-Jefry Rodriguez - Pre-arbitration
P-Danny Salazar - Arbitration Eligible (2020)
P-Cody Anderson - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
P-AJ Cole - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Brad Hand - $7 M (2021)
RP-Nick Wittgren - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Oliver Perez - $2.7 M (2020)
RP-Nick Goody - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Hunter Wood - Pre-arbitration (2024)
RP-Adam Cimber - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Phil Maton - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Tyler Olson - Pre-arbitration
RP-Dan Otero - $1.5 M Team option (2020)

Minor Leaguers Who Could Impact the 2020 Indians

SP-Triston McKenzie
SP-Logan Allen
C-Eric Haase
1B-Bobby Bradley
1B/OF-Jake Bauers
IF-Yu Chang
3B-Nolan Jones
OF-Daniel Johnson
OF-Ka'ai Tom
RP-James Karinchak
RP-Nick Sandlin
RP-Jon Edwards

As a starting point, I think it's safe to assume to Indians decline their team options on Kipnis and Otero and DFA Salazar.

Second base will be a question mark. They could bring Kipnis back, but not at $16.5 M. Chang is an option, as is Arroyo. Theoretically they could move Jose to 2B and find a new 3B.

Assuming Puig leaves, the outfield has a lot of options but not many sure-fire locks. Naquin has played well but still has trouble staying on the field. Luplow has mashed LHP, so he probably locks in a bench role. Mercado has been up and down in productivity. Allen seems more like a solid 4th OF than a regular. Zimmer has to be given consideration if he can prove he can be healthy, but who knows what you'll get. Reyes could play OF, but seems likely to DH most of the time. The team seems to really like Bauers, although his future could also be at 1B. Daniel Johnson seems likely to get a strong look as well.

At first base, I cannot imagine dealing Santana away but never say never I suppose. Does Bobby Bradley, with Reyes now in Cleveland, need to prove he can be an everyday 1B in the bigs? Or does he become a trade asset? As mentioned before, Jake Bauers could also be an option.

The rotation will be fascinating to watch. Does Kluber go back on the trade block and, if so, what is his value? Can Carrasco work his way back to starting? Can McKenzie make the jump? Can the Indians do for Logan Allen what they did with Plesac, Civale, Plutko, etc?

The bullpen may also be in for some change, although Cimber, Perez, Wittgren, and Goody seem like safe bets to occupy roles in 2020. Could the Indians deal Brad Hand? Will Karinchak and/or Sandlin be ready to contribute at the big league level?

Lots of questions, and many of the answers will start to work themselves out over the course of the rest of the season.
 
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Derek

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Due to Oliver Perez's age and Olson's ineffectiveness, I think there's a chance Kyle Nelson opens the season with the big league club next year.

If I had to pick an OF combo to start next year, assuming health it's Mercado-Zimmer-Naquin with Luplow on the bench as a specialist, and Greg Allen ready to step into a starting role if anybody gets dinged or struggles.

I don't think Bobby Bradley is in the plans for next year at all. Bauers should get first crack at 1B/DH if either Reyes or Santana goes down.

With Bauer already being dealt, I'm not sure if they shop Kluber. Also seems like we'd be selling low after an injury-plagued season.
Good chance the rotation (in no specific order) is:
Kluber
Carrasco
Bieber
Clevinger
Plesac

And I'd love to see McKenzie get healthy, and take that 5th spot by July.
 

Urban

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Is Freeman for sure a free agent? I can't find anything conclusive one way or another
 

Urban

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Should be pre-arb, right?
Yes, this sounds right. I believe he was about 60 days short of reaching 1 full year of service time coming into this season.

Edit- Or does it all have to be one season? I believe he was up for like 80 days in 2017. Regardless, he had not accrued a season before 2019
 

Stark

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According to BBall reference, Freeman is arb-eligible in 2022 and unrestricted in 2025.

At age 32, we feasibly could hang on to him for the rest of his career as a cheap utility infielder if we wanted.
 

EdMonix11

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Cam Hill, Robert Broom, Jared Robinson and Kyle Nelson are minor leaguer pitchers who could get time with the Indians.

All relievers.

Indians bullpen has the lowest velocity in the MLB this year-- Cam Hill can hit 97, Karinchak 98, Robinson 97. Nelson and Broom can hit 92ish but Broom is a side armer and Nelson is a lefty with a wipeout slider.

The best thing about all of these guys is that they all have different arm angles.
 

AZ_

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The Indians staff will have a HUGE task getting the four guys Ed mentioned above to a playable big league level. Add Sandlin in there as well if he's healthy.

Karinchak is lights. Dude is going to ball at the next level based on stuff alone.

The other guys, I'm not sure. Can they establish themselves as reliable options who can locate? That will be up to their development and usage.

Huge task, and the team will benefit from it if they can get them to a high level.
 

Benway

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I'll be sad when Oliver Perez leaves. His El Tiante style fascinates me. That fat old man is nowhere near done.
 

sportscoach

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@Steve_424 I am going to use your base and modify it in the way I feel next season will be, so I am changing things around a bit, but I wanted to shout out and give you credit for starting this so I am not just taking your stuff without giving credit where it is due. Also guys like Haase who are on the 40 man will be put in the pre-arbitration status to clarify the 40 man roster currently as well as projected (it's greater than 40 so don't mind it).

Free Agents
OF-Yasiel Puig
RP-Tyler Clippard

Team option guys
SP-Corey Kluber -$17.5 M Team option (2021)
RP-Dan Otero - $1.5 M Team option (2020)
2B-Jason Kipnis - $16.5 M team option (2020)

Under Team Control in 2020
C-Roberto Perez - $3.6 M (2022)
C-Kevin Plawecki - Arbitration-Eligible (2021)
C-Eric Haase - Pre-Arbitration
1B-Carlos Santana - $20.8 M (2020)
1B-Bobby Bradley - Pre-arbitration
1B/OF-Jake Bauers - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Christian Arroyo - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Yu Chang - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Jose Ramirez $6.6 M (2023)
SS-Francisco Lindor - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
Util- Mike Freeman - Pre-arbitration
Util - Andrew Velazquez - Pre-arbitration
OF-Tyler Naquin - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
OF-Oscar Mercado - Pre-arbitration
OF-Jordan Luplow - Pre-arbitration
OF-Bradley Zimmer - Pre-arbitration
OF-Greg Allen - Pre-arbitration (2023)
DH-Franmil Reyes - Pre-arbitration (2024)
SP-Carlos Carrasco - $10.2 M (2023)
SP-Mike Clevinger - Arbitration Eligible (2023)
SP-Shane Bieber - Pre-arbitration
SP-Aaron Civale - Pre-arbitration
SP-Adam Plutko - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
SP-Zach Plesac - Pre-arbitration
SP-Jefry Rodriguez - Pre-arbitration
SP-Logan Allen - Pre-arbitration
SP/RP-Danny Salazar - Arbitration Eligible (2020)
SP/RP-Cody Anderson - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
SP/RP - Sam Hentges - Pre-arbitration
SP Jean Carlos Mejia - Pre-arbitration
RP-AJ Cole - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Brad Hand - $7 M (2021)
RP-Nick Wittgren - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Oliver Perez - Vesting option $2.7 M (2020) (He hit the vesting number of appearances)
RP-Nick Goody - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Hunter Wood - Pre-arbitration (2024)
RP-Adam Cimber - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Phil Maton - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Tyler Olson - Pre-arbitration
RP-Jon Edwards - Pre-arbitration
RP -Jordan Stephens - Pre-arbitration
RP - Josh D. Smith - Pre-arbitration


Minor Leaguers Who Could Impact the 2020 Indians

SP-Triston McKenzie
SP- Eli Morgan
SP- Scott Moss
SP- Adam Scott
RP- Kyle Dowdy
RP- Kyle Nelson
RP-Robert Broom
RP- Jared Robinson
RP- Cam Hill
RP-James Karinchak
RP-Nick Sandlin
RP- Rob Kaminsky
C- Li-Jen Chu
C- Logan Ice
2B- Mark Mathias
SS- Ernie Clement
Util - Eric Stamets
Util - Max Moroff
OF-Daniel Johnson
OF-Ka'ai Tom

To me this is how the off season will go, Clippard and Puig will be released. Clippard will be offered a minor league invite back to rejoin the Indians, whether he takes it or not will be up to him. Kipnis's team option will be declined and I lean towards Otero's option getting picked up even though I think we have better young talent than him, hard to find anyone cheaper than Otero on the free agent market.

We will do very little if anything in free agency. We may look at a veteran BP arm, but mostly it will be veterans on minor league deals like we always do. Someone to compete for second, someone in the starting rotation and bullpen mix and just veteran guys. So I expect guys like Clippard, Barnes etc like in the past to be invited, but I don't see us spending money unless it is to help take a ton of pressure off of Hand.

My personal next moves would be- Salazar, Anderson, Stephens, Maton, Cole, all cut and tried to be outrighted to AAA with an invitation to spring training/resigned to a minor league invite. Next I would trade Plutko for cash/PTBNL since he is out of options and we have a guy like Morgan who should be MLB ready enough to replace him. I feel he won't make the roster since he is out of options so why not get the most for him? Also I would trade Bradley for some younger MLB talent. I know thats risky, but honestly I don't see a need for him right now with Bauers and Reyes (who I feel will be corner OF/1B outside of DH) and the fact we may keep Santana past his current contract. Plus Jones is a poor 3B, so he could be moved to 1B or OF in due time. I just feel Bradley is expendable and we should get the most of him as possible right now.

This would leave us with 5 spots on the 40 man roster. To me those 3 of those spots will be going to OF Daniel Johnson, SP Scott Moss, C - Li-Jen Chu. Then we have two open spots which will likely be another pitcher, and then no clue. To me most of those minor league pitchers listed don't need protected and the position players are AAAA ranked guys. Catching is a position that we are weak in I feel and teams will take AA talent in the Rule 5 if given the chance. Chu is our best catching prospect not name Haase at the moment in my mind, so I have a hunch a team could take him to be a backup MLB catcher.

This would setup the 40 man roster to start the off season. Yes I know the big name bullpen minor league arms aren't on it, but since they don't need protected, we won't add them to the 40 man roster until they earn a spot on the big league club. Now I could see maybe Hill Or Robinson added to the 40 man if the Indians feel they can contribute right now and could be taken because they are Rule 5 eligible but at the moment, I don't see that exactly happening, but I don't personally know how high those guys are on the list.

Next step for me, would be to extend Clev since he is hitting arbitration and sign him an extra year or two as well. But otherwise with the rotation, Bieber, Clev, Kluber and Carrasco are your main 4 guys. Then we will have Civale, Plesac, Jefry , Moss and Logan all competing for the last spot. The losers will be our AAA rotation with Morgan. AA rotation will probably be Scott, McKenzie, Tully, Hentges, Paulson/Morris. McKenzie lost this season so A+ or AA to start the season is the plan for him in my mind, but mid-season/injuries to the AAA roster could move him up sooner rather than later.

Now the bullpen, since the rosters expand to 26, we will definitely be keeping 13 total arms. This will give us 8 bullpen arms, Hand, O. Perez, Otero would be the pre-season locks, so the best out of the guys above. My opinion, Goody, Wittgren, Karinchak, Nelson and Cimber would end up being in the bullpen, which means Olson would be cut/outrighted to AAA if he doesn't elect free agency. But if we don't keep Otero we have Wood, Sandlin etc to put there, so the bullpen should actually be really frickin good next season along with the rotation.

Next we are looking at C, to me its the same two guys, with Haase and Chu at AAA. Not the best hitting crew, but should be the best receiving crew around.

INF we are looking at 1st, being Santana, Lindor at SS, Jose at 2B or 3B depending on what him and the brass decide. Then 2B/3B is the question mark, at the moment, I have the best player between the competition of Chang, Arroyo, Mathias and a veteran invite. We could resign Kipnis if he is willing to at a reduce rate but he would be probably taking a home town discount too, so I don't expect it to happen. Chang is getting a look right now cause of the Ramirez injury, so this is his chance to impress the brass and get ahead for the spot next season.

OF, essentially I feel the only locks here will be Naquin, who actually could get an extension as well, at a team friendly cost plus an extra year. We have Mercado, Bauers, Luplow, Zimmer, Johnson, Allen, and Tom vying for the last OF spots. Allen I feel is a great 4th OF, Luplow is a great platoon, so the best of the other guys is the OF. At the moment Mercado and Bauers potential wise makes the most sense, but you never know until they get out there next season. Bauers ability to play 1B could help him edge out the spot.

Last spot will be the utility guy since Reyes is the DH and back up corner OF/1B guy. I think it will be Freeman once again, with guys like Velazquez, Stamets, Clement being on the depth chart here. It is Freeman's spot to lose at the moment, but you cannot rule out someone trying to take it from him.

This is my early evaluation for 2020, and honestly should be a very solid roster from top to bottom. I mean in experience at 2B and the OF will still be young, but talent for a big season will be there and may end up being one of the best overall rosters to ever play in the Indians uniform. World Series contenders in my mind without a doubt.
 
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Derek

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@Steve_424 I am going to use your base and modify it in the way I feel next season will be, so I am changing things around a bit, but I wanted to shout out and give you credit for starting this so I am not just taking your stuff without giving credit where it is due. Also guys like Haase who are on the 40 man will be put in the pre-arbitration status to clarify the 40 man roster currently as well as projected (it's greater than 40 so don't mind it).

Free Agents
OF-Yasiel Puig
RP-Tyler Clippard

Team option guys
SP-Corey Kluber -$17.5 M Team option (2021)
RP-Dan Otero - $1.5 M Team option (2020)
2B-Jason Kipnis - $16.5 M team option (2020)

Under Team Control in 2020
C-Roberto Perez - $3.6 M (2022)
C-Kevin Plawecki - Arbitration-Eligible (2021)
C-Eric Haase - Pre-Arbitration
1B-Carlos Santana - $20.8 M (2020)
1B-Bobby Bradley - Pre-arbitration
1B/OF-Jake Bauers - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Christian Arroyo - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Yu Chang - Pre-arbitration
2B/3B-Jose Ramirez $6.6 M (2023)
SS-Francisco Lindor - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
Util- Mike Freeman - Pre-arbitration
Util - Andrew Velazquez - Pre-arbitration
OF-Tyler Naquin - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
OF-Oscar Mercado - Pre-arbitration
OF-Jordan Luplow - Pre-arbitration
OF-Bradley Zimmer - Pre-arbitration
OF-Greg Allen - Pre-arbitration (2023)
DH-Franmil Reyes - Pre-arbitration (2024)
SP-Carlos Carrasco - $10.2 M (2023)
SP-Mike Clevinger - Arbitration Eligible (2023)
SP-Shane Bieber - Pre-arbitration
SP-Aaron Civale - Pre-arbitration
SP-Adam Plutko - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
SP-Zach Plesac - Pre-arbitration
SP-Jefry Rodriguez - Pre-arbitration
SP-Logan Allen - Pre-arbitration
SP/RP-Danny Salazar - Arbitration Eligible (2020)
SP/RP-Cody Anderson - Arbitration Eligible (2021)
SP/RP - Sam Hentges - Pre-arbitration
SP Jean Carlos Mejia - Pre-arbitration
RP-AJ Cole - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Brad Hand - $7 M (2021)
RP-Nick Wittgren - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Oliver Perez - Vesting option $2.7 M (2020) (He hit the vesting number of appearances)
RP-Nick Goody - Arbitration Eligible (2022)
RP-Hunter Wood - Pre-arbitration (2024)
RP-Adam Cimber - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Phil Maton - Pre-arbitration (2023)
RP-Tyler Olson - Pre-arbitration
RP-Jon Edwards - Pre-arbitration
RP -Jordan Stephens - Pre-arbitration
RP - Josh D. Smith - Pre-arbitration


Minor Leaguers Who Could Impact the 2020 Indians

SP-Triston McKenzie
SP- Eli Morgan
SP- Scott Moss
SP- Adam Scott
RP- Kyle Dowdy
RP- Kyle Nelson
RP-Robert Broom
RP- Jared Robinson
RP- Cam Hill
RP-James Karinchak
RP-Nick Sandlin
RP- Rob Kaminsky
C- Li-Jen Chu
C- Logan Ice
2B- Mark Mathias
SS- Ernie Clement
Util - Eric Stamets
Util - Max Moroff
OF-Daniel Johnson
OF-Ka'ai Tom

To me this is how the off season will go, Clippard and Puig will be released. Clippard will be offered a minor league invite back to rejoin the Indians, whether he takes it or not will be up to him. Kipnis's team option will be declined and I lean towards Otero's option getting picked up even though I think we have better young talent than him, hard to find anyone cheaper than Otero on the free agent market.

We will do very little if anything in free agency. We may look at a veteran BP arm, but mostly it will be veterans on minor league deals like we always do. Someone to compete for second, someone in the starting rotation and bullpen mix and just veteran guys. So I expect guys like Clippard, Barnes etc like in the past to be invited, but I don't see us spending money unless it is to help take a ton of pressure off of Hand.

My personal next moves would be- Salazar, Anderson, Stephens, Maton, Cole, all cut and tried to be outrighted to AAA with an invitation to spring training/resigned to a minor league invite. Next I would trade Plutko for cash/PTBNL since he is out of options and we have a guy like Morgan who should be MLB ready enough to replace him. I feel he won't make the roster since he is out of options so why not get the most for him? Also I would trade Bradley for some younger MLB talent. I know thats risky, but honestly I don't see a need for him right now with Bauers and Reyes (who I feel will be corner OF/1B outside of DH) and the fact we may keep Santana past his current contract. Plus Jones is a poor 3B, so he could be moved to 1B or OF in due time. I just feel Bradley is expendable and we should get the most of him as possible right now.

This would leave us with 5 spots on the 40 man roster. To me those 3 of those spots will be going to OF Daniel Johnson, SP Scott Moss, C - Li-Jen Chu. Then we have two open spots which will likely be another pitcher, and then no clue. To me most of those minor league pitchers listed don't need protected and the position players are AAAA ranked guys. Catching is a position that we are weak in I feel and teams will take AA talent in the Rule 5 if given the chance. Chu is our best catching prospect not name Haase at the moment in my mind, so I have a hunch a team could take him to be a backup MLB catcher.

This would setup the 40 man roster to start the off season. Yes I know the big name bullpen minor league arms aren't on it, but since they don't need protected, we won't add them to the 40 man roster until they earn a spot on the big league club. Now I could see maybe Hill Or Robinson added to the 40 man if the Indians feel they can contribute right now and could be taken because they are Rule 5 eligible but at the moment, I don't see that exactly happening, but I don't personally know how high those guys are on the list.

Next step for me, would be to extend Clev since he is hitting arbitration and sign him an extra year or two as well. But otherwise with the rotation, Bieber, Clev, Kluber and Carrasco are your main 4 guys. Then we will have Civale, Plesac, Jefry , Moss and Logan all competing for the last spot. The losers will be our AAA rotation with Morgan. AA rotation will probably be Scott, McKenzie, Tully, Hentges, Paulson/Morris. McKenzie lost this season so A+ or AA to start the season is the plan for him in my mind, but mid-season/injuries to the AAA roster could move him up sooner rather than later.

Now the bullpen, since the rosters expand to 26, we will definitely be keeping 13 total arms. This will give us 8 bullpen arms, Hand, O. Perez, Otero would be the pre-season locks, so the best out of the guys above. My opinion, Goody, Wittgren, Karinchak, Nelson and Cimber would end up being in the bullpen, which means Olson would be cut/outrighted to AAA if he doesn't elect free agency. But if we don't keep Otero we have Wood, Sandlin etc to put there, so the bullpen should actually be really frickin good next season along with the rotation.

Next we are looking at C, to me its the same two guys, with Haase and Chu at AAA. Not the best hitting crew, but should be the best receiving crew around.

INF we are looking at 1st, being Santana, Lindor at SS, Jose at 2B or 3B depending on what him and the brass decide. Then 2B/3B is the question mark, at the moment, I have the best player between the competition of Chang, Arroyo, Mathias and a veteran invite. We could resign Kipnis if he is willing to at a reduce rate but he would be probably taking a home town discount too, so I don't expect it to happen. Chang is getting a look right now cause of the Ramirez injury, so this is his chance to impress the brass and get ahead for the spot next season.

OF, essentially I feel the only locks here will be Naquin, who actually could get an extension as well, at a team friendly cost plus an extra year. We have Mercado, Bauers, Luplow, Zimmer, Johnson, Allen, and Tom vying for the last OF spots. Allen I feel is a great 4th OF, Luplow is a great platoon, so the best of the other guys is the OF. At the moment Mercado and Bauers potential wise makes the most sense, but you never know until they get out there next season. Bauers ability to play 1B could help him edge out the spot.

Last spot will be the utility guy since Reyes is the DH and back up corner OF/1B guy. I think it will be Freeman once again, with guys like Velazquez, Stamets, Clement being on the depth chart here. It is Freeman's spot to lose at the moment, but you cannot rule out someone trying to take it from him.

This is my early evaluation for 2020, and honestly should be a very solid roster from top to bottom. I mean in experience at 2B and the OF will still be young, but talent for a big season will be there and may end up being one of the best overall rosters to ever play in the Indians uniform. World Series contenders in my mind without a doubt.
Very thorough, and I mostly agree. Just a few nits I'd like to pick.

Picking up Otero's option, let alone having him as a pre-emptive lock to make the team, is a bit outrageous to me.

Clippard has 100% earned a MLB contract with his performance this year.

McKenzie will start in AA, zero chance they back track him to Lynchburg after he's already pitched a large chunk of games for Akron.

This part isn't a nit-pick, just an opinion, but I don't think Bauers has an edge of Zimmer at all in the race to make the 25 man next year. If I had to guess, I think we'd head into next year with Mercado in left, Zimmer in center, and Naquin in right with Luplow and Allen off the bench.
 

AZ_

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2020 Rotation:

Mike Clevenger - Locked in and if healthy, a Cy Young contender
Shane Bieber - Also locked in, and if healthy, also a Cy Young contender
Carlos Carrassco - $10.25M deal, and likely locked into this spot. Cannot wait to see him back and healthy.

Corey Kluber - $17.5M Option, $1M buyout is an absolute steal with relation to the market. They could look to unload him on a team-friendly two year deal for prospects, but with the above two guys cost-controlled for another two years they could eat this cost. Coming off injury, I'm not sure what his market value is going to be, but considering he's slotted into the 3rd or 4th spot in the rotation, we should feel pretty good about this either way.

Kluber becomes more expendable because of the competition for the 5th spot in the rotation:

Zach Plesac (3 Options)
Aaron Civale (3)
Adam Plutko (1)
Logan Allen (3)
Jefry Rodriguez (2)
Scott Moss (3)
Eli Morgan (3)


2020 Bullpen:

Brad Hand
Nick Wittgren
Adam Cimber
Nick Goody
Oliver Perez (L)* (Option Vested)
Hunter Wood
AJ Cole
Dan Otero ($1.5M option)
Jon Edwards
Josh Smith
Phil Maton
Tyler Olsen (L)

James Karinchak
Kyle Nelson
Jared Robinson


I'd consider the top 3 on this list to be the only 100 percent locks on next year's Opening Day roster. Nick Goody is as close a bet as you can get, given the swing and miss he's shown on the slider.

Karinchak is a freak, and should be considered close to a lock as well. He may well be up in the next few days.

Obviously, the Indians will be looking hard at LOOGY relievers this off-season, I'd expect them to bring in another bevy of minor league deals and continue shuffling guys in and out.
 
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Derek

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2020 Rotation:

Mike Clevenger - Locked in and if healthy, a Cy Young contender
Shane Bieber - Also locked in, and if healthy, also a Cy Young contender
Carlos Carrassco - $10.25M deal, and likely locked into this spot. Cannot wait to see him back and healthy.

Corey Kluber - $17.5M Option, $1M buyout is an absolute steal with relation to the market. They could look to unload him on a team-friendly two year deal for prospects, but with the above two guys cost-controlled for another two years they could eat this cost. Coming off injury, I'm not sure what his market value is going to be, but considering he's slotted into the 3rd or 4th spot in the rotation, we should feel pretty good about this either way.

Kluber becomes more expendable because of the competition for the 5th spot in the rotation:

Zach Plesac (3 Options)
Aaron Civale (3)
Adam Plutko (1)
Logan Allen (3)
Jefry Rodriguez (2)
Scott Moss (3)
Eli Morgan (3)


2020 Bullpen:

Brad Hand
Nick Wittgren
Adam Cimber
Nick Goody
Hunter Wood
AJ Cole
Dan Otero ($1.5M option)
Jon Edwards
Josh Smith
Phil Maton
Tyler Olsen (L)

James Karinchak
Kyle Nelson
Jared Robinson


I'd consider the top 3 on this list to be the only 100 percent locks on next year's Opening Day roster. Nick Goody is as close a bet as you can get, given the swing and miss he's shown on the slider.

Karinchak is a freak, and should be considered close to a lock as well. He may well be up in the next few days.

Obviously, the Indians will be looking hard at LOOGY relievers this off-season, I'd expect them to bring in another bevy of minor league deals and continue shuffling guys in and out.
Do you think Oliver Perez retires, or did you just forget about him? I wouldn't mind seeing him and Nelson break camp as our lefties in the pen next year. Obviously we'd need a couple guys on minor league deals in AAA for insurance (our upper levels are devoid of left handed relievers at the moment).
 

AZ_

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2020 Lineup:

C - Roberto Perez
C - Kevin Plawecki
1B - Carlos Santana
SS - Francisco Lindor
IF - Jose Ramirez
OF - Jordan Luplow
OF - Tyler Naquin
DH - Franmil Reyes

These guys all seem like locks, lets move on to the rest.

IF - Yu Chang
IF - Christian Arroyo
IF - Mike Freeman
IF - Andrew Velazquez
IF/OF - Jake Bauers
1B/DH - Bobby Bradley
OF - Bradley Zimmer
OF - Oscar Mercado
OF - Greg Allen


In the OF, #ZimmerIfHealthy appears to be a lock. His swing looks re-tooled and ready. Oscar Mercado looks to be a lock as well, giving the Indians three legitimate CF guys along with Allen.

The question is, are there enough at-bats to go around? And do those at-bats have enough value to not seek a viable alternative.

Naquin and Luplow can platoon in the RF corner, Allen could split time with Mercado and Zimmer in LF and CF, respectively. Bauers could re-emerge as a candidate to play LF.

This is the most interesting competition heading into 2020 for me. All of them have viable skill sets to be above average big leaguers.


On the infield, it appears to be a question of what you want to do with Ramirez. Slide him to second, and figure out a platoon at 3B, or keep him at third and figure out a platoon at 2B.

This is a position where I think they’ll scour the free agent market looking for a low cost alternative to bridge a gap to Nolan Jones. Wouldn’t count out a return of Kipnis as well.
 

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Do you think Oliver Perez retires, or did you just forget about him? I wouldn't mind seeing him and Nelson break camp as our lefties in the pen next year. Obviously we'd need a couple guys on minor league deals in AAA for insurance (our upper levels are devoid of left handed relievers at the moment).
He’s a free agent, I’m not considering him in a discussion of current assets.

Entirely possible they bring back he and Clippard. But just discussing folks under team control.
 

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