Cleveland Indians Offseason Thoughts on Prospects and Roster

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Updated: February 5, 2014

As the Cleveland Indians creep closer and closer to the start of spring training, there is a lot for the fans to keep track of in the coming weeks leading up to the spring games beginning in Arizona. From prospects to Carlos Santana’s potential move, here are just a few thoughts on some of the offseason storylines to watch in Arizona.

Top 2 Prospects

There is a lot of love about Francisco Lindor at shortstop. He has the Glove and bat, pretty much he has it all and is a future Top 10 in MLB at the shortstop position. Clint Frazier in the outfield is looking like a keeper. Just picked last year and he looks like a great pick as he’s already in the Top 25 of the MLB prospects. Some have compared him to Mike Trout.

Carlos Santana’s Move

Let’s be honest, Santana has never made you forget Sandy Alomar Jr. behind the plate. His bat, though, always had you thinking elite catcher in the game. But with the emergence last year of Yan Gomes it’s clear that Santana is not the future at catcher.

Some thought that meant he’d move to first base, while others thought he would move to DH. It will probably a platoon between the two. However, the Tribe is playing with the idea of him at third base. This sounded like a joke at first, but it sounds like he is doing decent. What a bonus that would be if they could fill that hole internally with a good bat. Something tells me we’ll be reminded of Jim Thome at third, but we will see.

Rotation

Let’s start by saying, I wanted to lock up Scott Kazmir last June. You might have expected to see Ubaldo Jimenez there but I loved what I saw of Karmir. His velocity was back up and confidence was back. They could have signed him for much cheaper before his great second half. However, they didn’t and lost him.

I fully expect Kazmir to flourish with Oakland. As for Jimenez, he’s still out there. A one-year deal could still make sense for both sides. The key to the rotation is probably 2 guys: Danny Salazar, one of the best looking youngsters in the game and Carlos Carrasco, who has the stuff to dominate too. Watch out for Trevor Bauer too, who this writer expects to bounce back.

Justin Masterson

Didn’t mention him much above, but obviously if Jimenez is gone then Justin Masterson needs to step up. Is he a clear cut No. 1? No. Can he be close enough? Yes. Going back to the money in the next month, you will hear them battling over it. At 28-years old, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him gone soon. And that will start more Dolan hate, full circle.

April

Look forward to it again Cleveland. The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game– it’s a part of our past.

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