Last year the Indians signed Grady Sizemore, Shelley Duncan and the immortal Aaron Cunningham.
This year they signed Brett Myers, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.
This leads me to a pair of conclusions:
* SportsTime Ohio was worth way more than any of us thought.
* The Indians are take a step beyond "wanting" to win, to "actually trying" to win.
I've been negative on the Indians because of their generally mediocre play over the past half-decade. But I reserved most of my frustration for the Tribe's front office, which I was beginning to think wasn't good enough to construct a winner under ownership's payroll restrictions.
And there was little signs, even as late as December, that those restrictions were going to be loosened.
Then came January. And suddenly, the Indians transformed themselves.
In a two-day span, they committed $62 million to the run-producing Swisher and the solid-pitching Myers.
Keep in mind, the Indians spent all of $66 million on total payroll in 2012.
And then, Monday, they shocked everybody by giving outfielder Michael Bourn $48 million over four years.
Not even former GM John Hart and late former owner Dick Jacobs were that bold in the free agent market.
All three moves help position the Indians for a run in the postseason in Manager Terry Francona's first year.
Francona, who won two World Series' with Boston, will not tolerate losing.
I don't know that the moves will turn the Tribe into division winners. As long as Detroit has the best hitter (Miguel Cabrera) and pitcher (Justin Verlander) in baseball, it will remain the favorite.
And even with Myers in the fold, the Tribe's rotation could be just as much of a mess as last season. Trevor Bauer, a much better pitching prospect than a rapper, can't be counted on this season because of his lack of experience. Ubaldo Jimenez is just one big question mark. Even the three signings are somewhat risky. Bourn, Myers and Swisher are all past 30.
But that isn't the point. The point is a Cleveland franchise that for years made excuses for its mediocrity is suddenly eliminating those excuses.
The old refrain about Indians ownership - that it is cheap - no longer applies. Sure, the Dolans sold their network to Fox, and had more money to spend on their team.
But by stepping up and paying (perhaps overpaying) for free agents, the owners have made the Indians relevant again.
I went to five Indians games last summer. The continual losing and the sparse crowds at Progressive Field made it start to feel like the team I first fell in love with.
But that's not a good thing.
The Indians of my childhood were worse than .500 almost every season, to the point where winning more than 70 games was considered a success.
I began to wonder if someday I would remember names like Matt LaPorta, Lou Marson and Dan Wheeler the same way I did Luis Medina, Andy Allanson and Dave Otto.
When the Indians became a winner in the mid-90s, those names became something of a joke. How could we ever have tolerated such bad baseball?
For a while, it looked like those Indians had returned, with little hope for a turnaround in sight.
Then the Indians hired Francona. Then they signed the big three.
The Tribe has sent a message to us.
They're serious about this franchise.
We should be, too.