CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians have already addressed that this offseason is going to be used to get back to being competitive in the AL Central, but how they go about doing it remains to be seen.
One way is the possibility of going out and moving some of their better players in the hopes of getting talent in return, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the team may have a couple players on the block right now.
Heyman reports that a couple of the bigger named Indians players are on the docket, and that the team is not afraid to part with these players in order to take steps forward in 2013 and beyond.
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, closer Chris Perez, starting pitcher Justin Masterson, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabera.
It’s no surprise about Choo, who is only under contract for this next season before becoming a free agent. He was on the block a season ago when it was near the trade deadline, and the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates were two teams that had reported interest.
If Choo is moved, the team will likely have to step up and find someone to fill in to play the outfield next season.
Heyman says that the Pirates, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Phillies are all teams that could be in the market for Choo, who last season hit .283 with 16 homers and 67 RBI.
As for Perez, his play on the field isn’t the issue, but it could be his words off it. He wasn’t afraid last season to talk the team, it’s fans, or when he was dismissed – former manager Manny Acta.
Last season Perez had 39 saves, four blown saves, and an ERA of 3.59.
Masterson was a huge disappointment last season, going 11-15 with a 4.93 ERA. He was the teams ace, but never pitched up to the potential that many felt he would show after his big 2011 when he went 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA.
Cabrera could bring the biggest return, as he is a two-time All-Star, including last season. He hit .260 with 16 homers and 68 RBI last year, and is signed through 2014.
Saturday the team made a trade with the Blue Jays to acquire infielder Mike Aviles, and many felt that playing shortstop last season with Boston that he would join the team and Cabrera is on the block.
GM Chris Antonetti said during a conference call with the media on Saturday that Cabrera is the teams shortstop, but should the right offer come along, that could change.
Heyman says that the Red Sox, Tigers, A’s and Rays could be matches for Cabrera.
With the MLB Winter Meetings about four weeks out, it will be interesting to see if the Indians do make any moves with these star players, and if so, what they could get in return.