The Cleveland Indians bounced back in 2020 by making the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the American League after finishing the season with a 35-25 record. The team fell to the New York Yankees 2-1 in the Wild Card round and now enters the offseason with some interesting roster decisions to make.
The Indians have a core group of players ready to compete for a World Series title, but need to fill out the rest of the team and decide who is going to join them. Taking that into account, here are three players who won't be on the Indians roster next season.
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Hernandez was signed by the Indians last offseason and was a serviceable second baseman, hitting .283 and leading the American League with 20 doubles. He was also nominated for a Gold Glove Award and now enters free agency. The 30-year-old could draw a lot of attention in a market that is considered shallow at the position. He could certainly sign back with the Indians, but it is likely he will receive higher offers from other teams. For a player who made the most out his one-year deal, Hernandez may have played his last game at Progressive Field as a member of the home team.
2. Francisco Lindor, SS
One of the biggest names being thrown around the trade market is Indians' superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor is entering his final year under team control and it doesn't look like the Indians have any interest in committing over $200 million to sign Lindor to a contract extension. If that is the case, it would be smart for the team to trade him while they still can. He would bring back a significant return that would allow the Indians to address the various holes on their roster. Also, trading Lindor before Opening Day next year would save the team over $17.5 million in payroll. If the team really wants to fill out the roster and compete next year, trading Lindor may be their best shot to do so.
3. Oliver Perez, P
Oliver Perez has been a go-to reliever out of the bullpen for the Indians over the past three seasons, but now enters the free agent market this offseason. While the team would love to re-sign him, Perez will be a popular name among teams looking to bolster their bullpen for next season as he shown he still has some gas left in the tank. The Indians bullpen is already solidified by rising star James Karinchak and stud closer Brad Hand, which means the team may decide to use the money saved by not signing Perez on other positions of need such as finding more power bats on offense.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.