Welcome back to the final part to my what do the Cleveland Indians do now series. In my final part, I will break down five potential free agent signings that could help the Indians next season.
Free Agent Targets
Josh Donaldson was one move the Indians made at the waiver trade deadline but failed to really show up in the playoffs as he only had one hit in the three games. This can be attributed to the nagging injuries he had suffered throughout the season. I believe that Donaldson would be able to return to his former self and be a huge focal point of this offense. He would take over the starting spot at third base and would probably cost around $15-18 million and would likely sign a one-year deal.
McCutchen was a name rumored to be a trade target for the Indians for the past few seasons. With the likely hood of Michael Brantley leaving in free agency, McCutchen could be a replacement for the departing left fielder. Cutch hit .255 last season for the San Fransisco Giants and the New York Yankees. He could help bring some more stability and clutchness to the team that is looking to reload for another postseason run. McCutchen would likely sign a one or two year deal for around $10-12 million.
Many Indians fans saw exactly what Escobar did while a member of the Minnesota Twins. He was a double machine and sprinkled in 15 home runs. Escobar was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the non-waiver trade deadline. Escobar could fill in the role that Donaldson had late into the season at third base. Eduardo Escobar would bring some more pop and solid defense to the infield and it would let Jose Ramirez get more comfortable at second base. Escobar would likely cost $8-9 million for the season and is definitely in the Indians price range for the upcoming season.
Miller was the workhorse for the Indians bullpen the last 2.5 seasons and it caught up to him this season. Miller spent a majority of the 2018 season on the DL and when he returned, Miller was never himself. Andrew Miller never really settled into his role these past two seasons and he is likely to sign somewhere at a discounted price, based on his injury history. Miller has a disgusting slider and a fastball that can reach the mid to high 90s. Overall I think Miller could come back at around his price that he is being paid right now, $9 million. I also think he would try to resign for two-three years.
Many people remember Joe Kelly for his fight with the New York Yankees this season, but his pitching performances sometimes go overlooked. Kelly is a small market name so his price would be less than some of the bigger market names. If Cleveland can lure him away from the Boston Red Sox, Kelly would be a great addition to this bullpen that struggled all of last season. Kelly would likely make around $4-5 million for next season and would try to sign a multi-year deal as he will only be 31 years old next season. Overall, I think the Indians should try to sign Kelly and add him to this bullpen next season.
Overall, these are some names that the Indians could and should go after for this upcoming season. Likely only one of these names is going to be able to sign with the Indians because of the salaries they already have and are going to have for next season. I would mostly try to sign either Escobar or Donaldson to fill the third base role.