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Hey, Hoynsie: With Eddie Rosario under contract, pending his physical, do you think the Indians are done signing free agents until camp opens? Or will they continue to look in case someone falls through the cracks? — Dave, Avon.
Hey, Dave: They’ve committed $13 million to Rosario and Cesar Hernandez so I think they’ve done the heavy liftin from free agency. But I think they could still bring in a reliever if one should fall through the cracks. They also have a surplus of middle infielders if they can matchup with another team for a trade.
Hey, Hoynsie: The Tribe has gone through so many recent changes with players that it almost feels like a rebuild. What is your opinion about the Indians as a whole? Are you optimistic that they make the postseason? — Megan, Powell.
Hey, Megan: I do feel better about the Indians with the addition of Rosario and Hernandez. Rosario will provide power in the outfield and give manager Terry Francona a player he can keep in the lineup on a regular basis. Hernandez gives Francona a leadoff hitter, something he didn’t have after Francisco Lindor was traded. The rotation should be strong behind Shane Bieber. The bullpen needs some help. It’s not the Indians best team under Francona, but I think they’ll have a chance at the postseason, especially if the field is expanded.
Hey, Hoynsie: I find it odd that Hernandez could get only $5 million when you see the numbers being tossed around for other, non-Gold Glove players. What an I missing? — Carl, Orlando.
Hey, Carl: I think two things were involved in Hernandez signing a one-year $5 million deal, including a $6 million club option for 2022. No. 1, he likes the organization. No. 2, the free agent market for middle infielders is crowded with a lot of players that fit Hernandez’s profile. With the offseason getting short, and a depressed market because of last year’s 60-game sprint, good players like Kolten Wong, Didi Gregorius, Marwin Gonzalez and Jason Kipnis are still unsigned. I think Hernandez and his agent read the tea leaves and signed.
Hey, Hoynsie: I’ve always been a huge Tyler Naquin fan and I was obviously disappointed that the Indians non-tendered him. Have you heard anything on other teams reaching out? What are the chances he comes back on a cheaper contract? — Justin, Edmonton, Alberta.
Hey, Justin: I’m a fan of Naquin’s as well, but I don’t see him re-signing with the Indians, especially after they came to terms with Rosario. I think Naquin may have to take a minor league invite from a team and see if he can make the big-league club out of spring training.
Hey Hoynsie: Can you confirm or deny rumors that Jose Ramirez could be traded? — Dave, Hampton, Va.
Hey, Dave: Anyone can be traded, and perhaps Ramirez will be in 2022 or 2023 when the Indians have to decide whether they will exercise his club options. But for a team that’s obviously trying to stay competitive this year — if they weren’t they wouldn’t have signed Hernandez and Rosario to one-year deals — why would they trade their best offensive player? It doesn’t make sense.
Hey, Hoynsie: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who recently passed away, was 26 in 1960. Francisco Lindor is 26 now. Aaron hit .292 with 40 homers in 1960. Lindor’s career 162 game average is .285 with 29 homers. The Braves would have been insane to trade Aaron in 1960. The Indians were insane to trade Lindor. — Brent, Hunting Valley.
Hey, Brent: Lindor is 27, but I think I understand the comparison you’re trying to make. But it’s not realistic because Aaron and every other player in 1960 was bound to their club by the reserve clause. Free agency wasn’t granted to the players until 1975. The Indians were faced with a totally different set of rules in trying to keep Lindor. They aren’t insane, but they are economical.
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