As Al mentions, the Indians are in a seemingly great position as far as talent and payroll are concerned. Next year's rotation has the potential to be one of the best in the American League (though it also has the potential to be one of the worst if Bauer/Salazar/Floyd have bad/injured seasons). Most of the core offensive group is both young and under contract for the next several years. And the Indians have several potential core players in the minors right now, headlined by of course Francisco Lindor.
The major area of concern for me is that what starting prospects are there are several years away from the majors. Cody Anderson could fill that void with a comeback season, but otherwise I don't think the Indians are going to get any help from the minors this season. With the Gavin Floyd signing, the Indians do have eight starting pitchers on their roster who started last year, and hopefully they won't have to go beyond those eight.
Terry talks about Francona's predilection for big bullpens, which could have something to do with why the Indians have been rumored to still be looking for back-end help. I've long had a concern for Bryan Shaw's future effectiveness after the last couple seasons, and although a stronger (on paper) rotation should help ease the workload on the bullpen, Francona is always going to lean heavily on his bullpens, even if whoever the starter is is going seven innings a night.
If MLB goes to a pitch clock at the major-league level, one of those most affected would be Corey Kluber, who had one of the slowest paces among starting pitchers last season. He averaged 24.4 seconds between pitches, which would likely be beyond the time limit allotted to AA/AAA pitchers next season.
Latest 25-man/40-man roster
With the last arbitration-eligibles under contract (plus Trevor Bauer, who wasn't eligible but was coming off a multi-year MLB contract), the payroll looks be set for 2015. Here's how the roster looks right now:
The $83.95M total does not include Josh Tomlin, who will be making $1.5M next year, as I currently have him in the minors at the beginning of the season. That total payroll would rank the Indians among the bottom third in baseball, but the roster from a talent standpoint will be among the best in baseball. The Tigers will probably end up with a rotation that costs 8 times as much as the Indians', but it certainly won't be 8 times as effective. This roster is a perfect counterexample of the idea that more dollars equals more wins.