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“One game. One lousy game.” Actually change that. Seven outs. That's all that separated the 2016 Cleveland Indians from being World Series champions. Nevertheless, they finished the season with a record of 94-67, winning the American League Central division. A great performance from a team projected to finish fourth a year ago. This off season, the Indians made a rare free agent splash, signing 1B/3B/DH Edwin Encarnacion to a three year, 60 million dollar contract. Other than that, the Indians, like many clubs, settled arbitration with several key players such as Trevor Bauer and Dan Otero. After that they signed a bunch of guys to minor league contracts, including Wily Mo Pena, former Yankees mega-prospect Austin Jackson, who has bounced around in recent years, and former Milwaukee Brewer starter Chris Narveson. Other than that, not much can be said about the Indians. Cleveland has a loaded rotation, an even more loaded bullpen, and some really talented young position players. They should be the American League favorites heading into 2017.

Believe it or not, the Cleveland Indians are one of Major League Baseball’s oldest teams. The Cleveland Indians organization was originally founded in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. They remained the Rustlers until 1899 and in 1900 they moved to Cleveland where they became the Cleveland Lake Shores. After one season, they changed their name to the Cleveland Bluebirds. After just one season as the Bluebirds, they changed their name to the Cleveland Broncos. After just one season as the Cleveland Broncos, they became the Cleveland Naps in 1903. They remained the Cleveland Naps through 1914, and in 1915 they became the Cleveland Indians. Upon moving to Cleveland, the franchise played at League Park from 1900 until the early 1930’s. In 1936 they went full time to Cleveland Stadium through 1993. In 1994 they moved current home. From 1994-2007 it was called Jacobs Field. In 2008 the name was changed to Progressive Field. The motto of the city of Cleveland when it comes to sports seems to be “God hates us”. Well, there is logic behind that statement. In total, the Cleveland Indians have won the American League five times, but none since 1954. They have won the World Series just two times, the last in 1948.

Indians Continue To Build A Solid Team

The Cleveland Indians are coming out of a rebuild here the last couple of years. In 2013 they participated in the Wild Card play in game, and last year they came up just short of playing in it again. They are definitely a team on the rise, but there is still work to be done. They need to find more offense somewhere. Carlos Santana looks like he has hit his ceiling. He is a really good player, but doesn’t appear to be good enough to carry the load by himself offensively. The Nick Swisher signing hasn’t really turned out as the Indians had hoped, and they are evening trying to find a taker for him. The Indians really don’t have any impact hitters coming up through their organization, so they may need to look externally, perhaps even make a trade to get it done.

The Cleveland Indians are surprising a lot of people in 2016. Originally expected to finish in fourth place in the American League Central, the Indians are 52-36 on the season, good for a 6.5 game lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers, and the second best record in the American League overall. The Indians are getting some marvelous starting pitching from Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, and Corey Kluber. Between the three of them, they have 28 wins, and they all carry ERA's under 3.61. If the Indians can keep this up, they could be tough to deal with in the fall with those three starting pitchers.The team went on to the 2016 World Series. They faced the Cubs, going to game seven. Sadly the team came up one win short, and will have to spend the off season thinking about the one that got away.

The Cleveland Indians had a solid 2019 season, winning 91 games and the American League Central division before bowing out to the Houston Astros in a 3-0 sweep in the ALDS. So what did the Indians do this offseason to maintain their hold on the division?

The Indians wasted almost no time getting going this offseason, agreeing to terms with outfielder Leonys Martin on a one-year contract Next they added shortstop Mike Freeman, right-handed pitcher James Hoyt, left-handed pitcher Josh Smith, outfielder Tracye Thompson, outfielder Brandon Barnes, and right-handed pitcher Brooks Pounders to minor-league contracts. Next, they extended one of their talented arms, right-hander Carlos Carrasco, on a four-year contract. They also signed another pitcher, right-hander Cody Anderson, to a one-year contract. In addition, they traded first baseman Yonder Alonzo to the White Sox for outfielder Alex Call. In January, they added right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm on a minor-league contract and also added free agent catcher Kevin Plawecki on a one-year contract. Next, they claimed right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole off waivers from the Yankees and settled arbitration with superstar shortstop Fransisco Lindor. They finished January by signing left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez to a one-year contract. In February they added infielder Ryan Flaherty, catcher Dioner Navarro, outfielder Matt Joyce, right-handed pitcher Alex Wilson, right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard, and infielder Hanley Ramirez on minor league deals. This could very well be the Cleveland Indians last chance as is to get it done in the postseason.

The Cleveland Indians have owned the American League Central in recent years, but in 2019 that ownership came to an end as they surrendered the division to the Twins, ending their long run at the top.

The team has started to make serious trades. They already kicked things off back in the summer of 2019 by shipping right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Cinncinati Reds in a trade that also included the San Diego Padres. They continued that theme this offseason when they sent right-handed pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Delino DeShields and outfielder Emmanual Clase. In December they added catcher Sandy Leon on a one-year contract and catcher Beau Taylor on a minor league contract. In January they settled arbitration with outfielder Tyler Naquin and right-handed pitcher Nick Wittgren. They also added catcher Cameron Rupp on a minor league contract. Right now, the major of the Indians' resources are tied up in scouting other teams prospects, as they are looking to move even more players such as first baseman Carlos Santana and shortstop Fransisco Lindor.

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