Discount mulberry factory outlet Outlet but offseason promises to be interesting
Not being able to hold a 3 1 lead in the World Series is crushing.
But the reaction to the 2016 Indians’ late collapse seemed mostly positive.
The Indians, with all of their injuries, had no business being as dominant as they were in the first 12 games of the 2016 playoffs, and their ailments finally caught up to them against a team that won 103 games in the regular season.
The Tribe’s latest postseason failure dropping the final three games of the American League Division Series to the Yankees is different.
The 2017 Indians were one of the most entertaining clubs we’ve ever watched. They racked up the second most victories in franchise history, had baseball’s longest winning streak in 101 years and were the favorites to win it all.
But they’ll be remembered, unfairly or not, as the first team to squander two game series leads in back to back postseasons.
The good news is most of the players will return in 2018, and the Tribe will be prohibitive favorites to win a third consecutive division title.
The bad news: The best teams often don’t win in the MLB playoffs, and the slightest miscues or in the Indians’ case, the defense and the top of the order failing them at the worst time can be the difference between moving on and lining up tee times.
So where do the Indians go from here?
Likely back to the postseason, for starters. But this offseason promises to be an interesting one.
The Indians have eight notable, potential free agents Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, Austin Jackson, Bryan Shaw, Josh Tomlin, Joe Smith and Boone Logan.
That’s assuming the Tribe doesn’t exercise a $12 million team option on Brantley’s contract and a $7 million option on Logan. Both of those moves seem like givens, which would mean the club would pay each player a $1 million buyout.
We expect Tomlin to return via a $3 million team option, since the difference between the veteran pitcher’s salary and his buyout ($750,000) isn’t significant enough to justify letting a possible fifth starter or bullpen arm leave.
Bruce and Santana would be the most expensive to retain, with each likely to command annual salaries above their 2017 figures of $13 million and $12 million, respectively.
Our guess: The Indians will re sign one to a three or four year deal with Santana the more probable of the two and let the other walk.
If Tomlin returns, the Indians would have 10 players set to make a combined $73.6 million in 2018 Edwin Encarnacion ($17 million), Jason Kipnis ($13.5 million), Corey Kluber ($10.5 million), Andrew Miller ($9 million), Carlos Carrasco ($8 million), Yan Gomes ($5.95 million), Tomlin ($3 million), Brandon Guyer ($2.75 million), Jose Ramirez ($2.43 million) and Roberto Perez ($1.5 million). Factor in the buyouts for Brantley and Logan, and the Indians would be at $75.6 million.
Seven others are eligible for arbitration, though we wouldn’t be surprised if a couple didn’t return. (We could see the Tribe cutting ties with Dan Otero and Abraham Almonte, who are entering their second and first years of arbitration, respectively.)
The other five Cody Allen, Lonnie Chisenhall, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister earned a combined $20.5 million in 2017. Conservatively, we’d anticipate that total would increase to at least $28 million next season, with Allen (who’s entering his final year of arbitration), Chisenhall (see Allen) and Bauer (second year of arbitration) getting the largest bumps in pay.
That would put the club’s total at about $103.6 million for 15 players.
The Indians are fortunate to have more than a handful of other options, including their best player in Francisco Lindor, who have yet to reach arbitration and will be bargains by big league standards. That group includes the likes of Bradley Zimmer (who was missed quite a bit in the ALDS), Mike Clevinger, Tyler Olson and Giovanny Urshela.
The Indians, according to Spotrac, closed 2017 with a franchise record payroll of $139.2 million. That total is higher than the figure you’ll see on most websites, because Spotrac takes into account all of the minor leaguers who made brief or extended appearances with the club (thus earning large increases in pay), prorated portions of signing bonuses, incentives and retained salaries (such as Chris Johnson, who hasn’t played for the Indians since 2015 but accounted for $9 million in 2017).
The Tribe should surpass that figure in 2018, and the Dolans have proven that they’ll continue to boost the payroll as long as the championship window is open.
That’s undoubtedly the case, and as we broke down after the Tribe acquired Bruce in August, the MLB business is booming. The Tribe’s biz team has also benefited from the back to back postseason appearances, with the club’s best attendance total since 2008 and a season ticket base that will enter the 2018 campaign at its strongest point in a decade.