With the amateur draft every year, excitement brews for the teams of the future, but rarely do people actually think about how far away that future really is. Below is a chart showing the projected Indians 25 man roster for the next ten seasons. The chart assumes that all players will fulfill their entire contract and stay throughout all their arbitration years with the Indians. Depending on roster time, players have either three or four pre-arbitration years, then generally have three years of arbitration.
The chart assumes no long term contracts or trades, although some of the players listed will be worthy of one or the other. These are unpredictable, so they are not included. The biggest difference between the projections and what will actually happen is most likely going to be free agent signings, which are also unpredictable.
|C||Carlos Santana||Yan Gomes||Yan Gomes||Yan Gomes||Yan Gomes||Yan Gomes||Alex Monsalve||Alex Monsalve||Alex Monsalve||Alex Monsalve||Alex Monsalve|
|1B||Nick Swisher||Carlos Santana||Carlos Santana||Carlos Santana||Carlos Santana||Jesus Aguilar||Jesus Aguilar||Jesus Aguilar|
|2B||Jason Kipnis||Jason Kipnis||Jason Kipnis||Jason Kipnis||Jason Kipnis||Joseph Wendle||Joseph Wendle||Joseph Wendle||Joseph Wendle|
|3B||Lonnie Chisenhall||Lonnie Chisenhall||Lonnie Chisenhall||Lonnie Chisenhall||Lonnie Chisenhall||Dorssys Paulino||Dorssys Paulino||Dorssys Paulino||Dorssys Paulino||Dorssys Paulino|
|SS||Asdrubal Cabrera||Asdrubal Cabrera||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor||Francisco Lindor|
|LF||Michael Brantley||Michael Brantley||Michael Brantley||Michael Brantley||Tyler Naquin||D'vone McClure||D'vone McClure||D'vone McClure||D'vone McClure||D'vone McClure|
|CF||Michael Bourn||Michael Bourn||Michael Bourn||Michael Bourn||Michael Bourn||Tyler Naquin||Tyler Naquin||Tyler Naquin||Tyler Naquin|
|RF||Drew Stubbs||Drew Stubbs||Drew Stubbs||Carlos Moncrief||Carlos Moncrief||Carlos Moncrief||Clint Fraser||Clint Fraser||Clint Fraser||Clint Fraser||Clint Fraser||Clint Fraser|
|DH||Mark Reynolds||Nick Swisher||Nick Swisher||Nick Swisher||Nick Swisher||Chun Chen||Chun Chen||Chun Chen|
|C2||Yan Gomes||Chris Wallace||Chun Chen||Chun Chen||Chun Chen||Alex Monsalve|
|MIF||Mike Aviles||Juan Diaz||Mike Aviles||Joseph Wendle||Joseph Wendle|
|CIF||Jason Giambi||Mike Aviles||Jesus Aguilar||Jesus Aguilar||Jesus Aguilar|
|OF||Ryan Raburn||Tim Fedroff||Carlos Moncrief||Tyler Naquin||D'vone McClure||Carlos Moncrief||Carlos Moncrief|
|SP1||Justin Masterson||Justin Masterson||Trevor Bauer||Trevor Bauer||Trevor Bauer||Trevor Bauer||Trevor Bauer||Danny Salazar||Mitch Brown||Mitch Brown||Mitch Brown||Luis Gomez|
|SP2||Ubaldo Jimenez||Zach McAllister||Zach McAllister||Zach McAllister||Zach McAllister||Zach McAllister||Danny Salazar||Cody Anderson||Kieran Lovegrove||Kieran Lovegrove||Kieran Lovegrove||Dace Kime|
|SP3||Zach McAllister||Trevor Bauer||Danny Salazar||Danny Salazar||Danny Salazar||Danny Salazar||Cody Anderson||T.J. House||Dace Kime||Dace Kime||Dace Kime|
|SP4||Corey Kluber||Corey Kluber||T.J. House||Cody Anderson||Cody Anderson||Cody Anderson||T.J. House||Mitch Brown|
|SP5||Scott Kazmir||Josh Tomlin||Josh Tomlin||Josh Tomlin||T.J. House||T.J. House||Mitch Brown||Kieran Lovegrove|
|CP||Chris Perez||Chris Perez||Vinnie Pestano||Vinnie Pestano||Cody Allen||Cody Allen||Preston Guilmet||C.C. Lee||Trey Haley|
|SU||Vinnie Pestano||Vinnie Pestano||Bryan Shaw||Bryan Shaw||Bryan Shaw||Nick Hagadone||C.C. Lee||Trey Haley|
|BP1||Joe Smith||Bryan Shaw||Cody Allen||Cody Allen||Nick Hagadone||Preston Guilmet||Trey Haley||Cole Cook|
|BP2||Bryan Shaw||Cody Allen||Nick Hagadone||Nick Hagadone||Preston Guilmet||C.C. Lee||Cole Cook|
|BP3||Cody Allen||Nick Hagadone||Preston Guilmet||Preston Guilmet||C.C. Lee||Trey Haley||Kieran Lovegrove|
|BP4||Nick Hagadone||Preston Guilmet||C.C. Lee||C.C. Lee||Trey Haley||Cole Cook|
|BP5||Rich Hill||C.C. Lee||Cole Cook||Trey Haley||Cole Cook||Kieran Lovegrove|
In general, minor league players were chosen by their projected Major League ability, which is truly a complete unknown until they actually make it to the Indians (if they make it). Most movement follows simple progression, such as Pestano taking over Perez once his contract runs out. There are also movements made that have to do with a decline in ability, such as the move of Santana to first and Swisher to DH.
Some things to look forward to in the future are the expected break ins of Lindor and Aguilar in 2015-16 and Naquin in 2017. Next year's team should look very similar to this year's, but the bullpen may be even better with the addition of Lee and Guilmet, while the rotation will likely be at least slightly worse unless some more signings are made. Overall through the next decade, obvious strengths are at the middle infield positions, first base and catcher, while there are major deficiencies in the outfield and among starting pitchers. This projections will constantly change as the team makes moves, so we will continue to update the chart as things change.