It’s been a very busy off-season for the Cleveland Indians, and it has resulted in what could be the one of the fastest teams in the game with a plethora of players who can help your fantasy baseball team in steals.
The Indians made some very big moves this winter. The first was trading Shin Soo-Choo for the speedy Drew Stubbs and two minor leaguers. They then signed free agent outfielder Nick Swisher. It looked like they might be done, until they went and brought in Michael Bourn a few weeks ago. The signing may have created a logjam in the outfield, but the simple solution and the one the Indians seem ready to do is to move Swisher to first base and deploy the speedy outfield of Stubbs, Bourn and Michael Brantley. With that trio and the very quick Jason Kipnis, the Indians would be wise to run amok on the basepaths this season.
Bourn is the clear star when it comes to steals, with 257 over the past four seasons. Stubbs is no slouch himself with 110 in 137 career chances, and Kipnis was second among second baseman with 31 swipes in 2012. A wildcard in the mix is Brantley.
After stealing 46 out of 51 in AAA in 2009, Brantley showed off his speed in limited time his first two seasons. In 2012, however, he struggled a bit and had just 12 steals while being caught nine times. If he’s let free and can get back to the success rate he’s showed in the past, he’ll be a threat as well. Along with all of those options, Asdrubal Cabrera has stolen 17 bags in a season twice in his career.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the Indians trade either Stubbs or Brantley and Terry Francona won’t let them roam free. With all of this speed, however, it would be quite the surprise if they didn’t run wild.