If you're going read anything Indians-related today, this should be it. There's a lot of interesting details that shed light on the Indians' plans for next season, including:
- Rajai Davis will play left field until Michael Brantley returns, then switch back to center (or right).
- Francona would rather keep the current of starters rather than trade one for a position player. Danny Salazar seemed to be the player everyone wanted in trade talks.
- Along with the pitching, Francona wanted to maintain the defense the team showed in the second half, hence the signing of Mike Napoli (upgrade over Carlos Santana with the glove), and no real competition for Giovanny Urshela at third base.
2015 was a banner year for rookies, with Cleveland's Francisco Lindor a prominent member of that crop.
A lot of this evidence is from a conversation with one pharmacist, and he since has walked back his comments. So I'd take this with a gigantic chunk of salt.
The starting pitcher market has just about wound down, but the outfield market hasn't yet sorted itself out, with Jason Heyward the only major outfield free agent to sign. Of interest to the Indians is Alex Gordon, who looks to be leaving Kansas City, and the Chicago White Sox are among his primary suitors. Also, the Cardinals are looking to trade for an outfielder (having lost Heyward to the Cubs).
I think this is an upgrade.