Bauer: Indians can be best team in MLB
All-Star Trevor Bauer believes the Cleveland Indians "have all the pieces" to be the best team in MLB.
The Indians – who reached the 2016 World Series – traded catcher Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals and attempted to deal two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber this offseason.
Cleveland also lost relievers Cody Allen and Andrew Miller, creating some doubt over the team's outlook for the 2019 campaign.
Pitcher Bauer is not worried about the trades the Indians made this offseason, with the 28-year-old convinced Cleveland are in a position to win and win big following last season's run to the American League Division Series.
"People should be excited about this team," Bauer said. "We have a lot of young players, a lot of young blood. People that are going to play the game intensely and with speed and intensity and passion."
Cleveland return possibly the best rotation in baseball with Kluber, Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger along with two of the best young players in the game in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
Just because the Indians underachieved last season dropping their win total by 11 games, it does not mean they will do that again.
"For anyone to try and sit there and try to judge how the season is going to go before the season is just asinine," Bauer said. "Look at our team in 2016. No one thought that we were going to be good and we went to the World Series and played the best team in baseball that year to a tie through seven games with a lot of injuries and whatever.
"Look at the Braves last year. No one really thought the Braves were going to be good. Or the Brewers, or whatever, going into the season. Teams emerge."
Cleveland remain in one of the weakest divisions in MLB, though, the Minnesota Twins added some talent and the Chicago White Sox did as well, the Indians will still be favoured to win the Central once again.
However, they will have their work cut out in the AL as it could be argued the three best teams in baseball (the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and New York Yankees) are in the mix.
But, three years ago the Indians were coming off an 81-win season and were not expected to do much. They came within one game of winning the World Serie against the Chicago Cubs.
"It's not who's the best team on paper as we found out in 2017 and 2018," Bauer said. "It's who plays the best. And we have all the pieces here to play the best."