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Cleveland Indians Should Not Go "All In" At MLB Trade Deadline
The thing about the 2021 Cleveland Indians is, we don't know really what they are.
They currently sit at 42-33, good for second in the AL Central, and leaves them only 2.5 games back of a wild card spot. Certainly, with injuries to key players such as Shane Bieber, Josh Naylor, Zach Plesac, Franmil Reyes, Roberto Perez and Aaron Civale, the Indians should be aggressive at the deadline, right?
Well, let's pump the brakes a little bit.
The Indians currently have the lowest run differential among active AL playoff contenders (excluding the Yankees for the time being) at +5. They also are ranked 14th in runs per game, 25th in hits, and are just barely above the league average for defensive runs saved.
So, is this really sustainable? Well, maybe but is offloading prospects for some help-me-know rentals worth it when we might be an overachieving team?
Luckily, I do not have to make that decision.
Why Not Risk?
To me, the brutal Naylor injury sealed the deal. Naylor was the unofficial heartbeat of the Indians. The way that he plays with his head on fire just gives him some sort of charm and makes it easy to root for, and easy to have in your starting lineup.
The month of July is also particularly hard for the Indians as well. They will face off against the Astros and the Rays twice, the A's in Oakland and will end the month with the Cardinals and the White Sox coming into town. If they can survive that and still be in good shape at the July 30 deadline, then let's ride.
But let's be honest, as much as this Indians team has been easy and fun to root for, this may be the time when they crash back down to earth.
Moves Could Still Be Made
However, even if they do limp to the trade deadline, don't be surprised if this team is "active" on July 30.
This may be the perfect time to bring up some of your top prospects. Trading away guys like Cesar Hernandez, who has been incredibly disappointing this year, opens the team up to bringing up Nolan Jones, Tyler Freeman, or even welcome back Andres Gimenez.
So as of right now, let's just enjoy the team. Despite all of the injuries and lack of a consistent offense, they are winning games and staying in the playoff race. When the time comes to discuss the short-to-long term future, we can do that.
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