week once in a while I ask for your sizzling hot takes on Twitter and Facebook so we can argue about them because arguing is fun. This is the Hot Take Corner.
You read that title right. The Indians are going to regret it [according to someone, probably multiple people if we’re being honest, on Twitter]. As always, apologies if you only clicked the article to yell at me for the title. But it’s too fun not to do it.
We will regret not trading Lindor this off-season— Mish D (@MishMshdPotato) January 29, 2020
Starting with titular take here — ouch. I mean, how long are we talking before the regret is supposed to set in? I certainly will not regret it in 2020 when we get to watching Francisco Lindor instead of, oh I don’t know, Yu Chang playing shortstop for 150 games. At the end of the 2021 season when the Indians failed to get Lindor a ring and he walks away for nothing? Even then, I think I’m fine with getting to see him play out his time in Cleveland. Hopefully by then he gave the Indians two more legitimate shots at a World Series title. Not much regret from me.
Here’s what needs to happen for me to regret the Indians not trading Lindor:
- No playoffs in 2020 or 2021
- Francisco Lindor walks after 2021
- We have confirmation of the prospects the Indians turned down for Lindor and they are all inducted to the Hall of Fame unanimously in 20 years
If all three of those things don’t happen, I’m perfectly fine with the Indians holding on to the best player they have had in a long, long time for every second they can.
Tito is right, Puig is too volatile for a team barely on the cusp on contention (I hate myself for writing this).— Tyler Griffith (@tgriffith1992) January 29, 2020
It’s a well-known fact that volatile, talented players never win World Series titles. Every winning player is always a very even-keeled human who doesn’t annoy their manager at all.
All teams who play the Astros this year need to bang on trash cans every second of the game. Never let them get away from it— Jon Reitinger (@JonnyBoy_2) January 29, 2020
Absolutely. Everything short of ruining the game for those watching around you or putting players in danger should be in play in terms of making the Astros never forget they are dirty cheaters. I want trash can giveaways, Doug’s “Banging On a Trashcan” playing on the stadium speakers — give me it all. It’ll wear thin probably by midseason, especially if the Astros keep winning regardless, but their first few road games are going to be must-watch television.
Tito will retire after this season— stevan (@skrainovich1) January 29, 2020
My running theory is that Tito is going to run out the final years on his Indians deal and retire, and I think he and the Indians front office knew that going into his contract negotiation last offseason. Would love to see him get another ring before he calls it quits for obvious reasons.
If they had signed Michael Brantley the Indians would have won the division last year and the whole perception of ownership would be different— woof (@hawaiilife755) January 29, 2020
Not at least extending Michael Brantley a qualifying offer should have been a criminal crime. If the Indians were the ones paying him $32 million over two years, I think both of these things come true. And, honestly, I think even if the Indians signed Brantley and still lost the division it would have helped perception of ownership. Just show that you’re trying a little bit. Even if it fails at least you can could have said you brought back one of your best players and clubhouse guys for a couple more years and gave it another shot.
Games in the Trop are actually good— Bolts Tweetman (@FerrellCarson) January 29, 2020
Two bangs on Tropicana Field means a slider is coming.
The Indians are selling short the positive impact that Trevor Bauer had on their starters, and the team will suffer from his off-field absence even more than his on-field absence in 2020.— DreamingBaseball (@DreamingBasebll) January 29, 2020
This keeps me up at night. Of course the kind of mentality that Bauer and Clevinger have doesn’t appear overnight, so hopefully some of that is inquisitive nature was instilled in them throughout the Indians’ minor-league system. At the very least, if Bauer was the catalyst for it all, my hope is that Clev and his new best buddy Zach Plesac can do enough to keep the mentality going. Carl Willis seems like the exact opposite of that group, but I also thought everyone liked Mickey Callaway when he was in Cleveland so what do I know?
The #Indians won't win the Central this season. In fact, they could finish 3rd.— Stan (@StanFinger) January 29, 2020
This, too, keeps me up at night. The opening betting lines for the 2020 season are downright terrifying. It’s one thing to have the Twins continue to be good and division front-runners, but if the White Sox are in the mix? Yikes.
It’s not like Chicago has to be great all year, either. Very few teams are. But if they are indeed an 85-or-so win team, that means there will be streaks where they are pretty damn good. With a bit of misfortune, those good streaks could easily come when they’re playing the Indians. Oh god, what if the downturns are when they’re playing the Twins. Everything is terrible, I need to go lie down.
The Reds will have a better record than the Indians this year - a Tribe fan in Cincinnati— Ruben Castillo III (@anotherRube) January 29, 2020
It’ll be close, and that’s purely a testament to the Reds’ willingness to give a damn. I still think they’ll trade an outfielder (maybe to Cleveland?) to give them an ever better shot at topping whatever it is the Indians do.
Ka’ai Tom makes the opening day roster— dom (@mcdom89) January 29, 2020
There are far too many Ka’ai Tom equivalents for him to get a shot right away, I think. I could see Daniel Johnson and his massive potential earning a start spot, but I don’t know if Tom’s ceiling is quite high enough to take at-bats away from the similar, MLB-established guys yet. Not to say anything of them are great or anything, but probably not worth dumping quite yet.
Plesac and Civale are both going to take huge steps back and the rotation is going to end up being a weakness in 2020— J (@sadlebags7) January 29, 2020
For what it’s worth, projection systems don’t like Civale very much. Casey Drottar over at Cleveland Baseball Insider wrote about it earlier this week — he’s pegged for an ERA in the upper 4.00’s, and his 2019 season as a whole wasn’t as great as you probably remember.
However I believe highly in his peripherals, especially his spin rate, which projections don’t take into account. As Casey noted in his post, and as you can see on Civale’s Baseball Savant page, he’s in the upper crust of just about every pitching measurement imaginable outside of pure velocity. That comes in a small sample size, but still. Dat spin.
But could you imagine if Civale and Plesac do backslip something horrible and Kluber succeeds in Texas? The horror.
Marwin Gonzalez brought the Astros’ brand of sign stealing to Minnesota, last year, hence, the incredible uptick in offensive power and output.— Jared James Lange (@slangeug) January 30, 2020
According to the incredible research of a disgruntled Astros fan, we know that no player utilized the team’s banging scheme more than Marwin González in 2017. He did so on 147 pitches and had his best season ever by a wide margin. He had a 144 wRC+ that year, a full 33 points higher than his previous high in 2015. He was below-average with the Twins last year, though, so if he taught them the way of the banging he might have forgotten how it worked.
The Indians will prove to have "won" the Kluber trade long term. Just as they did with the Gomes, Lee and Sabathia trades.— ColonelChestbridge (@Edible14) January 29, 2020
Oh yeah, I’m on board with this. The feeling of trading away Kluber right now sucks, and will forever suck. But he also turns 34 in April and showed signs of decline even before his freak injury. It’s not too far out of the question that most teams knew this and a fire-balling reliever was the best the Indians were ever going to get for him.
The optics right now remain terrible, but if Emmanuel Clase is a dominant reliever for the Indians and Corey Kluber walks everyone in Texas, 20/20 vision will be pretty rosey.
Bieber gets extended, Clev does not. Tribe wins 95 games and the first wild card spot. White Sox win division. Tribe wins the Wild Card game and gets beat by TB in divisional round, but the Dolan’s feel justified in their process, trade Lindor. Opening Day payroll 2021 sub 80mil.— VJ Goff (@VJGOFF) January 29, 2020
You had me in the first half, not gonna lie. This really makes this season sound like a no-win scenario. Either the Indians don’t win, or they win and the penny pinching continues with its defenders getting even louder. Thanks, I hate it.
The payroll dipping that low after a relatively deep playoff run would be a double-fisted punch in the beans considering Paul Dolan previously said that getting into the playoffs helps the Indians expand payroll. If you thought this offseason was bad, wait until they make the Divisional Round, lose, and then still cut payroll. Cleveland will burn.
Not only should the Indians trade Lindor, they should trade Clev as well.— Daniel Cooksey (@OSUFan_88) January 29, 2020
Also Shane Bieber is the best player on the team.
I’m gonna go throw up.
Bieber is good, though.