How a Summer Without the Minors Impacts the Cleveland Indians

Jennifer Stewart-MLB Photos via Getty Images

Contrary to the opinion of many within the fan-base, I’ve long believed the potential loss of Francisco Lindor wouldn’t thrust the Cleveland Indians into a long and grueling rebuild.

Don’t get me wrong, removing a superstar shortstop from the equation does more harm than good. Still, there are a few reasons why his departure shouldn’t trigger tanking.

For one, Cleveland’s rotation is in a good spot. The earliest any of its starters approaches the end of his respective team control is 2023.

On top of this, the Indians still have several key players — José Ramírez, Franmil Reyes, Oscar Mercado to name a few — secure for the next few years.

However, one of the biggest reasons why I felt Lindor leaving wouldn’t bring on baseball dark ages was the work Cleveland has done with its farm.

The Indians have solidly built up their minor league system over the past few years, especially with their addition of several intriguing international prospects. Provided all works out, it wouldn’t be too long before they had some new contributors starting the next era of Cleveland baseball.

Of course, the only way things continue on this positive trajectory is having said prospects further their development. Based on how things are looking, that won’t be happening this year. While minor league baseball has yet to be cancelled for 2020, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, teams are already planning for that to come to fruition.

As a result, many key pieces of the Indians’ future are about to be thrown into a state of flux.

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Casey Drottar is an Cleveland Indians writer for Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to his podcast, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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