The now-weekly Getting Blanked podcast returns with a look at the Cleveland Indians. MLB.com reporter Jordan Bastian joins to discuss the Big G and the Goon Squad, the value of depth and the remaking of Ubaldo Jimenez.
Listen to the podcast directly here.
The Cleveland Indians are an interesting case. Much was made of the bold and decisive offseason, when they signed free agents Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn in addition to trading Shin-Soo Choo as part of a three-way deal that netted the Tribe Drew Stubbs and Trevor Bauer.
While these moves won Cleveland some positive PR and certainly looked to solidifying their batting order, it was a less-celebrated move that might have made a bigger difference. Getting Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes from the Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Esmil Rogers provided as much raw value, though it underplays Swisher’s experience and “intangible” presence.
A great season from Gomes highlights the layers of depth Cleveland rode to a strong year in the AL Central. There aren’t any superstars and the offense and run prevention are better than average without being dominant. But they don’t have any obvious holes in their roster and have many players capable of playing multiple positions.
The bullpen is more of a moving target, with closer Chris Perez currently dealing with calls for his job. Terry Francona insists Perez is still his closer but he has some roles to define should Cleveland push through a potential play-in game towards a reduced playoff roster, as he is making good use of the swollen pen currently as his disposal.
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