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Indians could take advantage of rebuilding AL Central

Most of the AL Central is rebuilding while the Indians are coming off of a World Series appearance. Hmm.

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Seven Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What are some things you want for your team after losing the World Series? First, is a dark, cold room to cry in for a few weeks. Second, is for a clear path back to November so you can watch them win it all.

Baseball is a sport of pain, so anything can happen, but the way the offseason is playing out seems custom-built for the Cleveland Indians to make another run, no matter what they do or do not do between now and April.

Every team not named the Indians in the AL Central is either rebuilding or in some kind of transition.

The Kansas City Royals are not in a full rebuild, but they are probably not the same powerhouse that went to two-straight World Series as their core ages and piece begin to be stripped away. The Chicago White Sox are a mess, and there have been reports that they are looking to blow it up and start over entirely. Same goes for the Detroit Tigers who have a rapidly aging core and is not going to get cheaper. They are even considering trading Miguel Cabrera (PLEASE DO IT) and talks of sending Justin Verlander to the Los Angeles Dodgers are heating up.

And the Minnesota Twins are the Twins.

None of this is to say that the Indians are guaranteed to go back to the World Series, win a single playoff game, win the AL Central, or even have a winning record in the regular season. But if there was ever a time for the Tribe to be on the upswing, it’s now. Their window is wider than Lonnie Chisenhall’s unbuttoned shirt.

The downside of all this is it means a storm is brewing that will likely hit in another 2-3 years. I cannot imagine all three of the Twins, White Sox, and Tigers will botch their rebuilds; the of which can just plug holes with money anyway. And it’s also hard to imagine the Royals will royally (heh) screw everything up in their final few years of competitiveness.

Luckily, the Indians have themselves built to win for a while. I talked about this extensively last January, with a title of “Indians do not need to win the World Series” which just seems tragic after the last month. But the heart of the post is still true: The Indians are mostly young, and mostly really good. A majority of current core are around until at least 2021, either through smart contracts or arbitration. After that, the Indians farm system — which still remains deep even with the Andrew Miller trade — takes over.