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The Indians’ window to win is closed

...and other hot takes from the Let’s Go Tribe community.

Divisional Round - New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians - Game Five Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Welcome to a new weekly series that definitely isn’t a ripoff of a popular YouTube music reviewer’s segment where I’ll be fielding your hottest, most controversial takes on Twitter and either debunking them as the best Cleveland Indians knower on the internet, or in some cases, joining you to die on the hill.

I asked for your hottest of hot takes earlier today on Facebook and Twitter, where you are always welcome to send them, or you can always email with the subject “Hot take” to get them included going forward.

Here we go.

Well this is a way to start. I’m going to try my hardest to avoid the lame “well anything can happen so yeah” response to these takes, but it’s pretty hard with this one. All Trevor has to do is manage to have two great halves in the same season and he’ll be golden. He started 2016 hot, finished 2017 hot, but was not great inbetween. I think I’d buy into Bauer getting Cy Young votes more if he wanted to hold onto his surprisingly good slider, but if his new project pitch — whatever the hell it is — turns out to be something good, I’m in for at least a vote or two.

I got nothing, but I completely agree.

Every manager is flawed, of course, and I mostly agree with this sentiment on the surface. I rarely agree with Terry Francona’s lineups, and his history of relying on “his guys” gets a little annoying, as does his strict adherence to platooning guys even when they don’t need it. The good news those aspects don’t matter a whole lot in managing. The most meticulously put together lineup over a full season will only win you a game or two. Like you said, Tito is great in the clubhouse and (mostly) with the bullpen, but lineups are certainly not his strength.

Wash your mouth.

Send us your hottest of hot/most controversial Indians takes so they can be argued about in a future post.

Posted by Let's Go Tribe on Monday, January 22, 2018

People should recognize they were wrong about Bryan Shaw, but I doubt they actually will. I mean the guy only had the ninth-most IP in the majors among relievers over the last three seasons with a perfectly respectable 3.26 earned run average, but he blew that one game someone saw so forget all that apparently.

So here’s my personal hot take in a sea of hot takes: We’ve over-valued relievers in recent years and it’s starting to rubberband back to where finding a couple really solid arms is enough, instead of needing an Andrew Miller in every staff. Purposefully or not, the Indians are stockpiling these Pretty Good relievers like Nick Goody and Dan Otero. I don’t see them spending $9 million a year on a reliever again, and yes, Goody (among others) will make it easier to swallow when Miller and Allen inevitably leave for their bigg(er) paydays.

Besides, I want Goody to succeed just because he’s so interesting with those crazy arm slots.

For the last time, Merritt, stop making more Twitter accounts and @ing me.

This one feels like a big stretch, but that’s what we’re here for. Almonte proved he could draw a lot of walks last season for the first time in his career, but his production was down across the board and he has never had a full season of a wRC+ above 95. The only way he’s the best outfielder is if everyone else is terrible, which is a scenario I don’t want to think about.

The Baltimore Orioles slam the no button so fast on this one. Kipnis doesn’t do them a lot of good right now, and while Triston McKenzie is intriguing, Brady Aiken is a massive project if he ever makes it to the majors. Manny Machado is still one of the best players in baseball, even with the down year last season, and even a front office as incompetent as the Orioles should be looking for a better deal.

Send us your hottest of hot/most controversial Indians takes so they can be argued about in a future post.

Posted by Let's Go Tribe on Monday, January 22, 2018

These are all grouped together because they’re essentially saying the same thing, “I’m unhappy with the slow offseason therefore the Indians suck,” which isn’t remotely true. The Indians won 102 games last season and they’re bringing back most of the team, with Yonder Alonso making up at least part of the hole left by Carlos Santana.

The idea that the Indians will be sellers this season is a little preposterous, but I’d be careful about saying there is absolutely no way the Indians won’t be great for another half-decade. Just look at the Pittsburgh Pirates — even a well-built team can come crashing down before you know it. If a couple key prospects don’t pay out (i.e. Francisco Mejia, Triston McKenzie), or if the Indians trade those two for an all-in shot at a World Series in 2018, it could cause a lot of issues in the near future with some bad luck.

But no, the Indians are going to fine in 2018 and probably 2019.

I would have rather not picked up Michael Brantley’s option so I’ll technically agree. Neither is a great trade option, though. The Indians have a better chance of having Brantley overcome the injuries and be a surprising value at $11 million than they do getting something worthwhile in return.

I don’t doubt he has a shot eventually, but he’s just so far away from the majors that’s it hard to anoint him the top prospect ahead of established prospects like Mejia and McKenzie or even Bobby Bradley. I’ve read nothing but good things about him, though.

This really isn’t crazy, I don’t think. At least part of Otero’s statistical success comes from how much he’s used with the bases empty — he’s faced a total of 282 batters with no runners on over the last two years, which is the most among relievers not named Cody Allen. But that still doesn’t take away from the fact that the man can absolutely deal, like a bullpen version of Josh Tomlin without the home run issues. He never walks anyone and he doesn’t strike many people out.

Definitely not the best arm in the ‘pen — because that’s still Andrew Miller — but he’s closer than he has any right to be.

He shouldn’t have started Game 1 either, but what do I know.