Terry Francona isn't focused on the trade deadline

The Indians are playing their best ball of the season

James Rapien
July 20, 2019 - 6:13 pm

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians continue to make their push toward a fourth straight American League Central Division championship. They enter Saturday’s game just three games behind the Twins, who had an 11½ game lead on June 3.

Their recent success has people wondering what they’ll add to the roster before the July 31 trade deadline? They could use more power in the lineup, preferably a right-handed bat that's capable of playing everyday. There will be plenty of talk about Trevor Bauer’s future with the club and what moves the Indians can make at the deadline, but one guy in the organization isn’t worried about the potential deals that could be made. 

“Our job as a staff is to take the guys we have and try to get the most out of them and I’ve actually been really having fun with this group,” manager Terry Francona said. “To ever say, ‘oh, man, we need that.’ That’s a slight to somebody else.”

The Indians will likely make a move before the trade deadline. They’ve added to their roster in each of the past three seasons. Francona knows that, but he also understands that it isn’t his job to worry about what happens or doesn’t happen at the deadline.

“I know Chris [Antonetti] and Cherny [Mike Chernoff] are always doing what they do and listening and talking [to other teams] and doing things like that,” Francona said. “Everybody knows in the game that happens. I don’t feel it’s my place to ever say that because I just think it’s disrespectful to the players we have.”

The Indians manager is aware of the possibilities, but he doesn’t want to tell the front office what the team needs. He expects both Antonetti and Chernoff to make those decisions.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said that in my seven years [in Cleveland] or my eight years in Boston, certainly my four years in Philly, ‘cause I think it sends the wrong message to that group,” Francona said.

The Indians have won 16 of their last 19 games, including six straight. The front office knows a right-handed bat will be required if they want to make a postseason run. There are also plenty of veteran players that could be had at the deadline.

Antonetti and Chernoff could decide to deal Bauer at the deadline, instead of waiting until this winter. He will be a free agent after the 2020 season and the Indians probably won’t want to give him one-year deals, like Bauer has said he wants.

If the Indians move the 28-year-old ace, they reportedly want a power bat that can help them in 2019. A request like that makes sense, but it’s easier said than done, which means Antonetti and Chernoff are going to have their hands full between now and July 31st at 4 p.m.