I’ve been impressed with the moves the Cleveland Indians have made this offseason.
Adding free-agent right fielder Nick Swisher, first baseman Mark Reynolds and starter Brett Myers were smart choices by the front office. Combine that with the Shin-Soo Choo trade for center fielder Drew Stubbs, prospect Trevor Bauer and relievers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw, and Cleveland has a revamped, retooled lineup that should go a long way in competing in the AL Central.
The need for power in the middle of the order was addressed with Swisher and Reynolds, while the veteran presence of Myers in the rotation should help toward stabilizing an evolving rotation. Stubbs brings with him a nice glove and some pop, while Bauer has ace-like potential.
The Indians now likely are pursuing some help at DH — perhaps a less-expensive Travis Hafner? — and some pitching depth. After their recent spending spree, the Tribe front office probably will go about this through trades and minor league signings. The team reportedly has agreed to sign left-handed starter Scott Kazmir to a minor league deal to add to its rotation choices.
–The Indians reportedly are looking to deal Jeanmar Gomez, who was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for the free-agent signings. Cleveland has less than a week to trade, release or waive him. Gomez was 5-8 with a 5.96 ERA in 17 starts for the Tribe last season. His numbers ballooned a little in 2012, matching the theme for the entire rotation, but he is only 25 and could be a nice addition to the back end of a veteran staff.