The Cleveland Indians' early exit from the playoffs shouldn't cloud a terrific first season under new manager Terry Francona. The Tribe went from a fourth-place, 94-loss team in 2012 to 92 wins and a wild-card berth this year. That's quite a feat.
They also showed the necessary tenaciousness down the stretch by winning 19 of their final 25 games to make up a 4.5-game deficit in the wild-card standings and leapfrog four teams in the final month. They're clearly a team on the rise, although it wouldn't hurt if general manager Chris Antonetti had another strong offseason.
The additions of established veterans Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher last winter put a dent in the team's payroll, but it's hard to imagine the Indians playing in October without them. Under-the-radar acquisitions, such as Yan Gomes and Scott Kazmir, also made this team much better.
Despite the Indians' successful season and a solid core of young talent, I wouldn't expect this winter to be any less eventful.
Here's everything you'll need to know before Antonetti and the front office get started.