An Indians fan lingered in front of a Ninth Street restaurant an hour after the completion of Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Cleveland, and he immediately raised perhaps the industry's most intriguing question leading up to the trade deadline.
"What are the Indians going to do?" he asked.
Throughout the discussion that followed, he nodded.
He understands that Trevor Bauer is going to be traded someday, maybe soon, and that Francisco Lindor almost certainly will finish his career wearing somebody else's uniform. He knows the Indians don't have the cash flow of the New York Yankees or the San Francisco Giants or just about all other teams. He gets all that.
And yet he shared a sentiment that is probably popular among other Clevelanders.
"If they trade Bauer and [closer Brad] Hand," he said, "the fan base will go nuts."
The presumption in rival front offices, however, is that the Indians' leadership -- long regarded as among the best in baseball -- will work to filter any unhelpful emotion out of the conversation and focus on identifying an objective, proportional response to where the team stands. That could be to sell or it could be to buy and sell or perhaps it could be to buy very modestly.