Cleveland came close to the playoffs two years ago with many of the same stars on the current roster, but a revamped bullpen and a couple of newcomers have made them stronger and deeper than the 2005 squad that just missed. This year's crew features a deep roster where almost everyone contributes in one significant area, and their two-headed monster at the top of their rotation will make them very tough to beat in a short series.
What's remarkable about this club is how it was built. Of the nine regular everyday hitters, only Ryan Garko was drafted and developed by Cleveland; three were free agent signees in Latin America, four came via trade, and Casey Blake was signed as a minor league free agent.
Starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia is the only one of their four regular starters who was drafted and developed by Cleveland, and Jensen Lewis is the only Cleveland draftee among their six primary relievers. Despite a reputation for process, their drafts haven't produced many big leaguers for them; the trades of Bartolo Colon and Einar Diaz and the team's work in Latin America are the major reasons they're headed to the postseason.