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The Future of the Indians

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DefenceWinsChampionships's picture
August 11, 2018 at 7:31pm

So I thought everyone could use a break from the repetitive "scandal" threads, and I thought this was an interesting topic. I keep reading articles from Cleveland beat writers about the Indians, and they always write their articles like it is a forgone conclusion that the tribe will let all three of Allen, Miller, and Brantley walk to new teams next year because they will be free agents. My question is why is that a forgone conclusion? I get that the tribe tends not to resign players once they reach free agency, but in my mind, not bringing back at least two of these three would represent a complete failure by the front office.
In my mind, this current iteration of the tribe has an expiration date of 3 more years, max, after this one. Bauer, Encarnacion, Alonzo, and carrasco, are free agents after 2020, and Kluber, Gomes, Hand and Lindor hit the market the next year. Why not resign all three to 3-year deals and make sure your window stays open as wide as possible.
According to baseball reference, after the trades, the Indians payroll is currently at a franchise high $144ish million. Next year they have 9 players currently under contract for roughly $81 mil. They have options on Carrasco and Guyer for $12 total. They'll go to arbitration with Salazar (5 mill), Bauer (8 mill), Lindor (7 mill), and Martin (3 mill). And they have 10ish other players that are pre-arbitration and will make just slightly over league min - so around 7 million total. That's a total team salary of around $123 million. 
I understand that Cleveland will never spend like a big market team, but they really wouldn't have to go that much higher than the current payroll to resign all three. 
Currently, Brantley is making $11 mill, but no one is going to pay a guy close to that when he's missed two of the last three years with injuries. A three year $24 million deal seems like a reasonable offer that he would accept. ($8 mill/year) 
Currently Miller is making $9 mill. A deal of three years $33 mill would, I believe, make him the the highest paid non closer/starter in the league, and it seems like an offer he would accept.
That would bring the payroll to $142 million. Less than it currently is...
Allen, as a closer, will be the hardest to resign, but he's going through a bit of a slump and shouldn't reach Pappelbon levels of pay (15ish mil/year) so maybe something like 3 years in the $35-$38 mill range could get the job done.
Is raising the team payroll $10 million to $154 mill really too much of a pill to swallow to keep three All Star level talents? If so you can make up most of the difference buy offering to swallow half of the final year of Kipnis' contact in a trade and simultaneously create an opening for yandy Diaz to see regular minutes. This would give you two more serious shots for a title, and if you haven't won one by the start of the 2021 season, you can either take one more shot at it or have the greatest fire sale of all time and rebuild the farm.
It just seems like if we let these guys walk this off season we'll be right back to trading more prospects for more relief and outfield help next year. The tribe's time is right now and they need to go all in for it rather than pinching pennies now. I wish I new why the beat writers seem to think there's no way any of them will be back. 
Any thoughts?

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