What to Make of the Cleveland Indians Free Agent Hitters

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Cleveland Indians Free Agent Hitters

Jun 14, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Free Agent Hitters Could Make an Impact

I started making a list the other day of all the guys the Indians have signed this offseason, and it really is something to behold. The list of pitchers is especially staggering, but we’ll cover that another day. You could essentially field something close to a full lineup with guys that have signed minor league deals, which begs the point of what the plan is, because there is no reason to believe Terry Francona will go with fewer than thirteen pitchers again. Finding a spot for all of the Cleveland Indians free agent hitters will be tough.

Let’s review, and see if I am missing anything. You’ve got Gomes and Santana catching; Swisher, Kipnis, Cabrera, and Chisenhall in the infield; and Murphy, Bourn, and Brantley in the outfield. You have to assume the first two spots on the bench are just about certain to go to Raburn and Aviles, since they have guaranteed contracts. That leaves one spot open, and Jason Giambi would seem to have the inside track for that unless he suddenly can’t turn on a fastball in spring training.

So how many of the Cleveland Indians free agent hitters have an actual shot at making this team? Since I live in Columbus I probably have a better shot at seeing most of them than you do, but let’s look at them all.

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Tags: Bryan Lahair Cleveland Indians David Adams David Cooper Elliot Johnson Jeff Francoeur Matt Treanor

  • Matt

    Going to be interesting to see how many bench guys they carry. Actually only had three for a lot of the year, though typically AL teams will carry four. Agree you have Aviles and Raburn as locks. Giambi barring injury/absolute collapse in the spring should have the 3rd.

    Question then is who is the 4th if there is one?

    I’d lean towards Francouer right now. Personally would love to see another catcher brought it, be it Jose Lobaton or Ryan Lavarnway. Just don’t want Santana catching at all, especially if he is playing any 3B.

    And speaking of Santana at 3B…let’s say he does play well enough that the Tribe decides to platoon him there with Chiz….who is DHing against lefties in that case? Raburn is already in RF platooning with Murphy so he’s out. Giambi being a lefty doesn’t seem like a good fit. Murphy would be on the bench but is there against lefties for a reason. Aviles could do it…but why would you DH him when he’s better defensively than Santana at 3B? Gomes could DH…if you had another catcher. I mentioned Francouer as the last bench guy as I think he could be a decent platoon option in this scenario. Has hit lefties well in the past at times. Could platoon in RF with Murphy letting Raburn slide to DH against lefties (if Santana is playing 3B). Maybe he could be this year’s Raburn…