The Cleveland Indians are probably done making major moves in this offseason, not completely content with what they got, but probably mostly glad they didn’t have to give up anything substantial.
Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli, that’s pretty much the recent and final yield. Napoli had an awful time with the Boston Red Sox last season but looked good on his return to Texas, hitting .295 with five home runs in 35 games, showing there’s still life to the 34-year old first baseman and especially some hitting quality. Davis, 35, didn’t do too badly for Detroit (hitting .258 with 8 home runs). His defense, as long as you keep him away from left field, is still above average.
The Indians were very interested in Todd Frazier over the offseason and were in some sort of talks with the Cincinnati Reds for over a month, but the Reds simply wanted too much. Considering Frazier’s slipping defense and the fact that he’ll make $12 million (or maybe more) in 2017 makes it a bit too risky to give up someone like Danny Salazar for him, especially when Salazar is a few years younger and under a much more manageable contract.
The Reds then moves on to prospects and closer Cody Allen, and then specific prospects. In the end, it seems like the Indians weren’t hungry enough to gut their depth and future just for Frazier, who ended up getting dealt to the Chicago White Sox in a big three-team deal that involved the Los Angeles Dodgers as well.
Napoli means moving Carlos Santana to DH. Santana doesn’t like the position, but over the last two years his defense has been terrible, and the move was inevitable. Davis gives the Indians someone who can hit, defend and run and play 2.5 positions on the outfield, which means depth and flexibility. Hoping to make a run for the playoffs, their early aspirations were for someone younger who can make more of an immediate offensive impact. Right now, it seems like they’ll have to settle with what they were able to get.