The Indians are getting set to make some big changes in the offseason. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto said he got some inside information about what the team is planning to do first.
The team has more than five players who are now free agents, and it’s likely that most of them will be gone.
So, the team will be looking for players without breaking the bank.
Yandy and the infield
Enter Yandy Diaz, who Pluto says will likely be named the team’s permanent third baseman. He’ll replace free agent Josh Donaldson, who the team signed late last season.
“I’ve been pleading for almost two years for them to put him in the lineup," Pluto said.
"He doesn’t hit a lot of home runs; he hits singles and doubles. You need some guys who just make contact and hit the ball hard.”
Rounding out the infield is Francisco Lindor at shortstop, Jose Ramirez at second and Yonder Alonso at first.
The Indians’ regular second baseman, Jason Kipnis, will move to left field, to replace All-Star Michael Brantley. Brantley is a free agent and it’s likely the team won’t match his $18 million option. Kipnis, meanwhile, played center field for the team during the playoffs.
At center field, the team will likely play Leonys Martin and Greg Allen.
“As for Martin, they traded for him but we forgot all about him because he suffered a season-ending bacterial infection. He is an elite defensive center fielder and a decent hitter.”
Tyler Naquin is expected to play right field.
“Naquin had hip surgery last season and is already playing games in Goodyear, Arizona. He was almost ready for the playoffs but they didn’t just want to put him in there when he hadn’t played.”
Pluto says he’s not sure what exactly the opening day outfield will look like, because the team will likely be picking up other players this offseason.