The Cleveland Indians don't have a lot of inherent bonuses in their organization, but one thing they do very well is run the front office. They have a great GM, a great president of baseball operations, and seemingly a fantastic pipeline of talent that feeds other teams throughout baseball with brilliant minds.
Pittsburgh, MInnesota, Toronto, the Boston Red Sox under Ben Cherington, and a host of other teams have plucked excellent baseball executives to build into the future. But what if that wasn't the case? What if there was no pipeline because the Indians front office was full of nincompoops? What would a bad front office do with this Cleveland Indians team?
Some hallmarks of bad front offices include things like trading players away too early or holding onto them too long. Maybe sticking with outdated thought processes and ideas in baseball, getting stuck in one way of thinking. Or just being vindictive and egotistical. Frank Lane traded away Rocky Colavito because he didn't like him. It's alleged that Billy Beane, for all his brilliance in progressing baseball thought, traded Josh Donaldson because Donaldson criticized Beane's actions. A good GM would try to avoid dealing through emotion. A bad GM, well, they're kind of unpredictable.
Here are some ideas for whatever bonehead accidentally finds his way into power with the Indians.
Trade Andrew Miller
It's pretty common knowledge that relievers are hard to predict from year to year. They pitch so little compared to their starter counterparts that they almost don't get enough chances to suffer and overcome swoons.
So of course moving the Indians' relief "ace" would be a great idea. You never know if he's going to be suddenly terrible. Never mind the 1.93 ERA the last four years, spanning 229 innings, or the 374 strikeouts in that time. If he's such a great relief pitcher, why does he only have 49 saves? As evidenced by Dellin Betances losing an arbitration hearing, saves are the main marker for relief success and eliteness.
No, it's best to get rid of Miller now. Zach McAllister throws nearly as hard, just use him.
Extend Carlos Santana immediately, for many, many years
Power doesn't just grow on trees. It's not like people are hitting home runs like it's 2001 anymore. Maybe Santana's lack of defensive versatility is a bit worrisome to some. They’re not paying attention. He showed immense ability to play the outfield, and in the World Series no less. He even had a 1.000 fielding percentage playing left field. No other numbers are needed to demonstrate he’s as good as prime Alex Gordon out there.
Trade Trevor Bauer
How he has stuck in the majors is a mystery. The petulance of a young pitcher shaking off such a veteran presence in Miguel Montero, and in his rookie year!
His ideas are too outside the right ways of doing things in baseball. Anyway, he's got an ERA over four. It’s been like three or four years, when will he become an ace? Probably never. How can we consider him even remotely valuable when the team is trying to win championships. He reportedly was adjusting to a new delivery in 2016, which just speaks to his lack of confidence. Which, along with location, is paramount to being successful as a pitcher. Velocity is tertiary at best.
If Bauer was ever going to be good, he’d stick with what worked in college. Everyone knows college to the pros is an easy transfer. Bauer thinks too much. Nobody wants a thinking athlete. Just go out there and pitch.
While we're at it, trade Bradley Zimmer for a veteran outfielder
Maybe Rajai Davis. He is so clutch and steals bases. Zimmer's strikeout rate in Triple-A is a sure sign that he's never going to cut it. Players trying to change their swing that close to the majors is plain evidence of trying too hard, and not having the tools to be a great major leaguer.
Meanwhile, Rajai Davis doesn't strike out nearly as much and is a good veteran presence. Nothing is more valuable than experience.
Command Terry Francona to stop platooning outfielders
Without consistency, how can players get comfortable and perform. Sure, maybe Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall can't hit lefties. But all we have to go on is their past performance. Maybe they're good now. Practice does make perfect. It's time to stop Francona from seizing too much power. He is the subordinate here. If he bucks, replace him with a like-minded manager.
Manny "the ManGenius" Acta is available.
In fact, just get rid of Francona
This charismatic, intelligent, and street smart manager is too much of a challenge to the front office’s power. Better to cut ties and get someone that’s easier to walk all ov- ... I mean who will enact any and all schemes thought up by this new general manager.
The goal isn’t to simply win, but to win in one specific way. That’s how GM’s get their name out there. One must not deviate from a plan, regardless of new information. It’s a sure sign of conviction in one’s goals.
Swap Lindor for some relief pitching ASAP
Just kidding. Even a lobotomized blind squirrel wouldn’t do this. That guy is perfect.