The Cleveland Indians will face plenty of tough competition during this year's 60-game MLB season. Aside from the 40 games against American League Central opponents, the Indians have a tough draw by also taking on the National League Central. The only real bad team in that division, on paper, is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
That means the Indians should be looking to improve the roster once the temporary moratorium on signing free agents and making trades is lifted this week. Small additions such as Domingo Santana and Cesar Hernandez were made in the offseason, but the team still needs help after trading Corey Kluber and seeing new addition Emmanuel Clase be suspended right away. A few available players stand out as those who can help the Indians in this unique campaign.
3. Andrew Cashner
Andrew Cashner has primarily been a starter throughout his career. He began 2019 in Baltimore but was traded to the Boston Red Sox, where he was moved to the bullpen. The Indians can sign him as a reliever after losing Clase to a PED suspension. Cashner can also make a spot start if needed as the rotation could use someone with experience. The veteran's 6.20 ERA in Boston last year may scare some fans, but he did start the year with a 3.83 ERA in Baltimore.
2. Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas is a bit of a polarizing figure and just turned 37 years old this offseason. Yet he still provides an experienced left-handed arm in the rotation and could be the fifth starter for the Indians. Vargas went 7-9 with a 4.51 ERA between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in 2019, and Indians fans may remember him for his All-Star season in Kansas City back in 2017. He went 18-11 that year and could very well be relied upon to make 10-12 solid starts.
1. Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig was traded to the Indians last season and appeared in 49 games. He slashed .297/.377/.423 and seemingly did enough to stick around, but the centerpiece of the deal that brought him to town was Franmil Reyes, so Puig was never given a new contract. There's still time to fix this, and the Indians should bring him back on a one-year deal to provide some power in the outfield. The team did add Domingo Santana and Delino DeShields, but the slightly expanded rosters make Puig a more valuable asset.