Indians wait out players’ decisions

By | December 8, 2012 2:08 pm | 0 Comments


The Cleveland Indians have a few offers on the table. Now, it’s just a waiting game.

The Tribe reportedly have made offers to free agents Kevin Youkilis and Nick Swisher. Both would fill help fill needs for the Tribe, who are starved for power hitters. Youkilis could play first base, plus fill in at third and DH when needed. Swisher is a right fielder — the Indians are looking to deal Shin-Soo Choo — who could also fill in at first or DH.

Youkilis is hardly the player he once was, but he did play better after being traded from Boston to the White Sox in late June. There’s a longtime connection between new Indians skipper Terry Francona and Youk, who played for Francona in Boston for eight seasons.

Youkilis is mulling over another offer — one-year, $12 million pact from the Yankees. Multiple sources have the Indians’ offer at two years, $18 million. The Mariners, among others, have shown interest in Swisher, who hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBIs with the Yankees last season.

The Tribe already lost out on outfielder Shane Victorino, who opted to sign with the Red Sox because of a bigger per-year contract (three years, $39 million vs. Cleveland’s four years, $44 million offer).

There also are rumors surrounding the Indians and Arizona outfielder Justin Upton. Asdrubal Cabrera is a big part of the deal, which would have Upton going to Texas and Cabrera to the D’backs while the Indians would get prospects from the Rangers and D’backs. The Indians reportedly want Arizona left-handed starter Tyler Skaggs as part of the deal.

If any or all of those deals fall apart, the Indians need to remain active. Standing pat would hurt the team’s pursuit of a winning campaign.

–Tony Battaglia



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