It hasn’t been that long since the Indians last took the field, but already the Front Office is gearing up for the off-season. A slew of roster moves were announced today from the club, along with some potential moves. Let’s run them down.
Indians pick up Carlos Santana’s $12 million option for 2017
This move had been talked about as a done deal for quite some time, but the Indians finally made it official today. This move comes as no surprise as Santana put up his best season to date. He was tied for the team lead in home runs with a career high 34, and was second on the team in RBI with 87. Santana was his usual patience self at the plate with a .366 OBP, he just missed out on posting his third consecutive 100 walk season, as he finished with 99. Depending on what happens with Mike Napoli (more on this later), Santana will man the DH and first base position for 2017. He will be able to test free agency after next year, and the Indians could/should look at extending him sometime soon.
Indians exercise Terry Francona’s options through the 2020 season
Unarguably the best manager in the game, Terry Francona brought the Indians within a game of a World Series title, and did it without his best hitter and two of his top pitchers. Over Francona’s four seasons as Tribe skipper, the Indians have posted the best overall record in the AL over that time frame. Get used to seeing him in the Indians dugout.
Indians decline Coco Crisp’s 2017 option
Coco Crisp was due $13 million for the 2017, but the Indians decided to exercise his buyout clause, giving him $750k to walk, as he enters free agency. While Crisp didn’t particularly play a huge role in the regular season after coming over from Oakland, but he did provide the Indians with some huge hits in the postseason. The Indians will have a glut of outfielders to choose from, and at $13 million for next season, Crisp was never really an option.
Indians mulling Qualifying Offer for Mike Napoli
The Qualifying Offer will sit at $17.2 million for next season, which in my opinion is way to much money for a 1.0 WAR player. If Napoli declines the offer (not sure why he would), the Indians would be set to receive a first round draft pick from whomever signs him. They could also work out a much smaller deal to bring him back. The Indians have until November 7 to make a decision.
Indians promote two from within
The Cleveland Indians promoted Carter Hawkins and Matt Forman to Assistant General Manager roles.
Indians could have some extra money to work with this off-season
Here’s Chris Antonetti on the influx of postseason cash, “I think it helps. The Dolans have been very consistent in how they’re operated the team and that any revenues that we’re able to generate get invested back into the team. Advancing in the postseason certainly will help that. … I’m not sure how much impact the new minority owner will have. As Paul has said, that’s not going to fundamentally change how we operate. But to the extent our revenues increase, whether it’s through postseason ticket sales or increased ticket sales for next year, that will have a positive impact on it.”
— Chris Sladoje (@The_Doje)