The Cleveland Indians appear to be cutting costs and that means losing some notable players in free agency this offseason.
The main story surrounding the Cleveland Indians this offseason has to do with Francisco Lindor’s future in town. But there are several other key players who may be heading out the door via free agency as opposed to a potential trade with Lindor.
The team has already made it clear they are moving on from Brad Hand and his $10 million option for 2021. Let the cost-cutting frenzy begin. This front office is never going to spend big, at least under current ownership, and the Indians payroll is more likely to feature young, team-controlled players as opposed to established stars.
There are a few players likely to join Hand by having their options declined and hitting free agency. Then there are those who are already on the market when free agency begins at the start of November. Unfortunately for Indians fans, some good talent could be leaving.
3 players the Indians will likely lose in free agency
3. Domingo Santana
We start with Domingo Santana. The outfielder came to town in 2020 and now has a $5 million club option sitting on the table. He batted .157 in 24 games this season and posted a negative WAR as part of a crowded outfield filled with younger and cheaper talent.
There is no chance the Indians pick up that option. Things may have been different if there was a normal 2020 season. Santana was never able to get going and he was only a 0.5 WAR player back in 2019 with the Seattle Mariners.
The Indians took a chance and it just didn’t work out. The team also has much younger outfield talent that deserves the playing time more than someone who likely wouldn’t be brought back in 2022 anyway.