Still looks like a team that can't compete outside the division
Fun fact: The Indians record outside of the AL Central is 39-29 (.573). The Yankees record outside the AL East is 33-26 (.559).
While the overall record against playoff contenders is not very good, they are 11-9 against teams currently in the playoff picture since June 2nd (if you include TEX and LAA that number jumps to 18-12, but they were a little too far out of it for me to consider)
Nobody expects the Indians to compete with HOU and NYY for the next decade. But to say they can't win outside the division is objectively a false statement.
I don't think they'll be bottom feeders but the reign over the central felt over to me when I posted this and still does today..
Indians currently have 3 top 100 prospects per MLB.com rankings. Moving Lindor in 2 years will fetch at least another 2 as he's arguably the best SS in the game. Kluber will likely be moved for another one. The Indians develop SP talent arguably better than any other team in baseball (2nd fewest SP earned runs in the MLB despite 3 of our original starting 5 not being with the team), and have top young hitters like Reyes and Jose signed through 2023, and promising guys on rookie deals in Mercado and Naquin. Is Cleveland a lock to dominate the Central for the next 5-10 years? No. But the cupboard is far from bare and I'd wager a good sum of money they win the division more often than they lose it between now and 2025.