The Cleveland Indians have some great prospects in the organization. That could mean some trades this offseason to bolster the roster.
The Cleveland Indians need to find some frugal ways to improve the team this offseason.
One potential way to do that is to let some free agents walk, such as Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. But even doing that doesn’t free up too much space due to the raises to be paid out this year.
But one method could be to trade a top prospect for a return that brings major and minor league talent to the organization for a cheap price. Such as in getting some players who are still in the early years of their service time.
A recent article on Bleacher Report, written by Joel Reuter, went through each MLB team and identified the top trade chips to be unloaded this offseason. His selection for the Indians was Nolan Jones.
Jones, 20, was the No. 55 overall pick in 2016. After a slow start to his pro career, he took a big step forward this season with a .283/.405/.466 line between Single-A and High-A that included 21 doubles, 19 home runs and 66 RBI.
Stellar on-base skills and budding raw power make him a prospect on the rise, and if the Indians make a play for a controllable outfield bat or late-inning bullpen help, he could be the centerpiece.
Jones is a third baseman which means his path to the pros is blocked by one Jose Ramirez. The same goes if Jones moved back to his old position of shortstop.
The Indians could also package a major league contract in such a trade. Maybe a team out there has some affection for Jason Kipnis and wants his contract.
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I imagine the front office will work through the in-house decisions before considering any trades, but this is certainly a possibility to keep in mind. The Indians have been dealing a lot of prospects lately, but the goal is to win a championship will the current core is in town. Being complacent could lead to another stretch of mediocre and boring baseball.