The Indians are one of the strangest teams in baseball right now. Despite currently being a highly competitive team in one of the worst divisions in baseball while housing one of the best pitching rotations in the game, Cleveland just doesn’t want to go for it.
In fact, before knowing the injuries that would come their way and how good the Twins would wind up being this year, the Indians were shopping the likes of Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, and their owner basically burnt any and all bridges with the team’s MVP-caliber shortstop. With that said, they don’t feel like the, uh, greatest fit for Haniger, but damn it, it just makes too much sense.
Cleveland is 37-34, which is currently good enough to be just a game-and-a-half behind the second wild card in the American League and bad enough to be 10 games back of the Twins in the AL Central. The point is, they’ve been good enough to at least have a chance at a playoff berth, and with their insanely good pitching staff, they could make some serious noise if they reach October.
They also have one of the worst outfields in baseball, which has only accumulated a 0.2 fWAR this year—the sixth-worst mark in the league. So why not go for it? Haniger makes a ton of sense for them—and, to a lesser extent, so does Domingo Santana—and their farm is deep enough to make a compelling offer that wouldn’t be entirely back-breaking to their system.