Cleveland Indians face difficult decision in coming days

Jun 30, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (right) watches from the dugout against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 30, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (right) watches from the dugout against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Indians are the only team that can potentially derail the White Sox hopes for the AL Central. As the only other team over .500 in the division, they are really the only chance of keeping the White Sox from running away. However, the Indians are also eight games back, and have lost ten of their past 14 games heading into the break.

Given how far behind the Indians are in the division, and their flickering hopes for the Wild Card, they have some tough decisions to make. According to reports, the Indians may end up as sellers, adding some potentially interesting names to the trade market.

Cleveland Indians facing difficult decision

The concept that Cleveland could look to sell some players and attempt to contend is an interesting one. This is a path they have taken in the past, trading the likes of Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger while relying upon their younger arms to continue to hold down the fort.

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While this worked in the past, the Indians do not have the same production line of arms waiting in the wings. Pitchers such as Triston McKenzie have been unable to take that next step forward, and the Indians do not have the same pitching depth as they did in the past. Likewise, Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes are the only two regulars with an OPS over 100, although Harold Ramirez and Bobby Bradley have done well when in the lineup.

That lack of depth, both in the rotation and in the lineup, hinders what the Indians can do. They may want to take the same approach as in the past, but that inability to land those same impact players in return has caught up with them. The Indians may not be able to straddle that line this season.

Whatever Cleveland decides, it could have long lasting implications for the division. Should they also enter a rebuild, the AL Central will belong to the White Sox for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, the Indians may be able to scrap and claw to remain in contension.

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The Cleveland Indians are at a crossroads. Depending on their decision, the White Sox could control the division for years to come.