CLEVELAND -- The “Hot Stove” has been burning a little slower than normal as it pertains to free agency in Major League Baseball, as some big names remain on the market with barely over a month before the start of spring training.
Highly productive players from both the American and National leagues are in search of homes for the 2018 season.
Here is a look at three players the Indians should consider adding to the roster before spring training.
Outfielder Jay Bruce
Bruce entered free agency with a reportedly high asking price, and yet, he remains unsigned.
In 149 at-bats over 43 games with the Indians after a mid-August trade from the New York Mets, Bruce belted seven home runs, nine doubles and two triples. Eighteen of his 37 hits went for extra bases, and he drove in 26 runs with 21 scored.
During the postseason, Bruce smashed three extra-base hits, two home runs and one double, with four RBI and five runs. In his Indians postseason debut, a 4-0 win over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Bruce smashed a double off the wall in left field and later, a home run, and drove in three runs.
If Bruce is willing to take a shorter deal, the Indians may be able to make the finances work, while at the same time, offering him a good chance at a return to the postseason.
Outfielder Rajai Davis
The Indians had a wealth of outfielders heading into the 2017 season, but there are question marks surrounding their health in 2018, namely what can be expected out of Michael Brantley after November ankle surgery to stabilize ligaments.
That being said, a reunion with Davis could add depth at center and left.
With the Indians in 2016, Davis played 66 games in left field, where over 387.1 innings, he had 83 putouts, four assists and just two errors over 89 chances for a .978 fielding percentage.
Offensively, Davis hit 23 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs with an American League-best 43 stolen bases in 495 trips to the plate during the regular season, and he belted a game-tying home run late in Game 7 of the World Series.
Between Oakland and Boston last year, Davis hit .235 with 19 doubles, two triples and five home runs, but scored 56 runs and stole 29 bases.
Relief pitcher Brian Duensing
After only 14 relief appearances with the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 season, Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Chicago Cubs last year and returned to his durable form out of the bullpen.
Over 62.1 innings of work in 68 appearances for the Cubs, Duensing allowed 58 hits, but only 19 earned runs and six home runs. He registered 61 strikeouts against just 18 walks and had 13 holds on the way to a 2.74 earned run average.
In three of his last four full seasons, Duensing has had an ERA under 3.99, and if he remains healthy, adding him to the bullpen would fill a good chunk of the innings needing to be filled after the departure of Bryan Shaw in free agency.