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Cleveland Signs Two, More Moves Could Come

The Cleveland Indians agreed to contracts with 1B/DH Mike Napoli and OF Rajai Davis today
The Cleveland Indians agreed to contracts with 1B/DH Mike Napoli and OF Rajai Davis today

Going into the offseason, it was a known fact that Cleveland did not have much free agent spending money. Today, Cleveland signed two veterans who fit into the lower level free agent pool in Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis, and while they may not make headlines they are both good signings. 

Mike Napoli - "Nap" is a 34 year old first baseman/designated hitter who has had a good career.The Indians needed another player to pair with Carlos Santana in the 1B/DH role and Napoli certainly fits that. Some may say he is over the hill, but he can still make an impact. Napoli is also a right handed 15-20+ homerun hitter, and can help out the desperate need for offense the Indians have dealt with the last few years.

Rajai Davis - Davis is a 35 year old outfielder, and will fit nicely into the Cleveland depth chart. With All-Star Michael Brantley out for the first month to two months of the season, the need for outfield help became even bigger than it already was. With the addition of Davis, the 2016 Opening Day outfield group projects to be Rajai Davis, Abraham Almonte, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Collin Cowgill. Once Brantley returns Davis may fit better as a platoon player, but his speed and good defense provides a nice option for Cleveland. 

Now that Cleveland made two solid additions, the already good chances of them contending have improved; but, they need to make at least one more move. Cleveland still has an abundance of starting pitching with an even greater abundance of teams with nice pieces looking for it. The Indians have been involved in many rumors not limited to but including Todd Fraizer (Traded to the Chicago White Sox today) Marcell Ozuna, Jorge Soler, Brandon Belt, and Joe Panik. The haul they could get back for one of their starters would be very good, as proven by the Atlanta/Arizona Shelby Miller trade earlier this offseason. Cleveland has also been rumored to be willing to trade out of their strong farm system for a good bat, preferably an outfielder. Can Cleveland contend with what they have now? Yes. Should that prevent them from trading to better the team even more? No.  There are teams willing to give them a good return for their pitching and/or prospects and Cleveland should take advantage of that. Cleveland has been that "one piece away" team for a few years now and with their young, talented, still improving core, there has never been a better time to go out and get that piece. That one piece is now not even the differnece between contending or not contending, it is the differnece between seriously contending and possibly making a playoff run, or contending most of the year and possibly making the playoffs with a quick exit. The Indians getting cold feet about making a big trade involving one of their starters or prospects is very understandable. Young controlable players with high potential are tough to give up, but if this team doesn't do big things fast the core may start to be picked apart. A big addition via trade could prevent that from happening. 

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