So I was trying to start this preview off by harkening back to the last glory days of Cleveland in the mid 90′s so I searched for “Indians team picture 1997″, and this was one of the top results with no team picture in sight. I guess it is pretty fitting seeing as how this is a preview of a Cleveland sports team. Well…the Indians never could turn that talent in the mid 90s into a championship and haven’t come close since. There has been some serious talent come through Cleveland during that time including Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Grady Sizemore (pre-injury), Bart Colon, Victor Martinez, Brandon Pihillips, etc. I’m sure that lists grates at Cleveland fans thinking about what might have been. Well Cleveland spent the off season trying to fill the talent gap again and they’ve done a pretty good job at doing so.
So what did they do?
Major Off-Season Moves:
- Signed OF Michael Bourn
- Signed OF/DH Nick Swisher
- Acquired OF Drew Stubbs via trade from Reds
- Acquired SP Trevor Bauer in same trade from Diamondbacks
- Signed 1B/3B Mark Reynolds from Orioles
- Signed SP Brett Myers
No one can accuse Cleveland of resting on their laurels this off season. Although their laurels weren’t that good, so why would anyone rest on them. Whoa…that last sentenced confused me – ignore it please. They signed two serious impact free agents in Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Teams were shying away from Micahel Bourn because of the new draft pick compensation rules for free agents and I think an underlying concern that his legs will begin to deteriorate and his game along with it. As it stands now he’s a great CF and one the best on the bases in the majors. Nick Swisher has never had a star label but his consistently produces at a good clip. Drew Stubbs and Trevor Bauer were two young players who needed changes of scenery. Although as we pointed out in our Diamondbacks preview, the Bauer one doesn’t make sense. Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers are veteran plugs that the Indians needed to fill out their rosters.
A deeper look at the offense after the jump. [Read more...]