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Where to start with the Indians bullpen

We know we have to wait before the Cleveland Indians make some moves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at the pieces they have for the bullpen.

Guys, I know. The Cleveland Indians bullpen doesn’t look good right now. In fact, some could say it looks very bad. I can’t argue with that statement. They have moves to make and things to do, and we don’t really know when that will happen.

Maybe things will look awful after the first few games of Spring Training that they feel they have to address it. Or, maybe we’re overreacting. *ducks* Okay, it’s certainly not an overreaction, but the Indians have the benefit of having one of the best and deepest collection of starters in baseball.

Clearly, this isn’t what the rotation will be, and it’s safe to assume some of those faces will be headed to either the bullpen or Columbus… or purgatory in the case of Danny Salazar. Let’s start with Cody Anderson who is set to make is return at Spring Training this year. Anderson has always been a starter for the Tribe, but he’ll have a hard time cracking that loaded rotation this year.

Why not use him out of the bullpen. He can pitch multiple innings and has a lot to prove. He didn’t really have the stuff to blow guys away and he hasn’t played since 2016. But he could find himself a new home in the bullpen as so many have in their careers.

Brad Hand and Adam Cimber are key pieces to this bullpen. Hand will be the closer, and Cimber will look to find his place. Cimber struggled when he came to Cleveland, but his numbers in San Diego show he’s capable of being a huge piece of this bullpen.

Nick Goody, Tyler Olson, and Dan Otero are all pieces that have been in this ‘pen and we know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Olson is a special case. He didn’t allow an earned run in 30 games in 2017, but he regressed hard in 2018. Olson could be a valuable lefty for the Tribe but adding a few pitches aside from his slower fastball to his arsenal could help him improve greatly.

Ben Taylor and Jon Edwards are both question marks. Neither has shown much in limited playing time but they’ll be asked to step up this season.

So what about free agency? There’s a lot of relief pitchers out there. It looks like all of them are waiting until Craig Kimbrel is off the market before signing anywhere. Kimbrel is the big fish that the Indians don’t need.

What about a guy like AJ Ramos? He has a career-worst season with the Mets in 2018 which could put him at a discounted price. He had season-ending surgery back in June and could be a bit of a risk, but his loss 72 saves in two bullpen seasons in Miami show that he has the potential to be a strong bullpen piece. If you’re the Indians, why not give him a one-year prove it deal?

Speaking of veteran presence, Sergio Romo is another piece on the market that can add some experience to this bullpen. The former All-Star isn’t as great as he once was, but he doesn’t have to be. The Indians need depth here. Romo has played in World Series’ and had the career numbers. The Indians can give him another chance to contend.

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Now is not the time to panic about the Indians bullpen. Not yet. There are a ton of names on the free agent market. It’s annoying to see that this is the new trend… slow offseasons with no signings. But maybe the Indians patience will pay off.

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