The Cleveland Indians opened the 2013 season at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, home of the Blue Jays. Check out a photo gallery from the Tribe's second game of the season there.
On Thursday, March 21, the Cleveland Indians visited the beautiful Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for a Cactus League exhibition game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On Wednesday, March 20, the Cleveland Indians visited the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona for a Cactus League exhibition game.
(CLEVELAND) -- The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are underway at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville and heading in, it was believed the Indians would be one of the more active clubs this year.
WTAM 1100 Cleveland Indians beat reporter Nick Camino takes a peek at some things he'll be looking for when it comes to the Tribe at the Winter Meetings:
1. Dealing Asdrubal Cabrera: For weeks sources have said the Indians are listening to offers regarding their two-time All-Star shortstop. While the Indians like Cabrera, his value is high right now so they can probably get a lot in return for the 27-year-old. Over the past few years Cabrera's numbers have faded in the second half of each season and last year he did not arrive to Goodyear, Ariz. in the best shape. Once the 2012 season started Cabrera was ready to go, but this offseason the Tribe already traded for Mike Aviles who was the Boston Red Sox everyday shortstop a year ago and still has a great relationship with new manager Terry Francona. If Cabrera is dealt this week, it should not come as a surprise to any Indians fan; however, if he is back in Cleveland next season it simply means the front office could not align on value with other clubs. Don't get me wrong, Cabrera can still help the Indians next season, but it makes sense to move him now more than ever.
2. Adding starting pitching: There have been reports that the Boston Red Sox have interest in bringing back Justin Masterson who the Indians traded Victor Martinez for, but all indications are that it would take a boat load for the Tribe to deal him back to Bean Town. While Masterson's 2012 season was nothing to brag about (11-15, 4.93 ERA), he was the Indians Opening Day starter and showed glimpses of being a dominant top of the rotation pitcher. The Indians really like Masterson and believe both him and Ubaldo Jimenez can anchor the starting rotation. With that said, the Tribe must look to add starting pitching this week in Nashville. The jury is still out on Corey Kluber and a pitcher like Zach McAllister appears to be a 4-5 man in an MLB rotation. Knowing the Indians previous history, they probably will not spend the money it would take to bring in right-hander Zack Greinke, but the Tribe needs more pieces for its starting rotation seeing as 2/5ths of what they began with a year ago are gone (Derek Lowe - DFA, Josh Tomlin - injury). The other piece is right-hander Jeanmar Gomez...has he shown enough to get another crack at opening the season with the Tribe in Toronto?
3. Big name to Cleveland: Any Indians fan who has "big name free agent to Cleveland" on their Christmas list can just cross that item off right now. Up until this week, there have been no indications that the Tribe will break the bank to bring in OF Josh Hamilton or RHP Zack Greinke. There have been talks that a new TV contract with Fox Sports Ohio may give the Indians some extra spending money when it comes to payroll, but I would not anticipate that being a factor until the 2014 season. There are still pieces out there that can help the Indians, but Hamilton and Greinke seem unrealistic at this time. James Loney would have been a nice piece to add seeing as the Indians need a first baseman, but he reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays already.
4. Shin-Soo Choo's future: All is quiet right now in regards to Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo which could be the "calm before the storm". The Tribe has already tried to re-sign Choo three different times, but were unsuccessful and a lot of that is because the South Korean product is represented by maverick agent Scott Boras. If Boras can get Choo to free agency without re-signing with the Indians, the higher his payday will likely be. The Indians tried to shop Choo before the July 31 MLB trade deadline a year ago but were unsuccessful in completing a deal. The longer Choo is in an Indians uniform, the more his value drops. If Choo was dealt before last season ended the Tribe likely would have gotten more for him than they will right now. However, if they can work out a deal to trade him this week or current offseason, they will likely get more than if they wait until next July 31.
5. Doing nothing would be brutal: The last two years at the MLB winter meetings the Cleveland Indians have done virtually nothing to improve their 25-man roster. They cannot do that a third consecutive year this week in Nashville. When new manager Terry Francona was hired there was some excitement around the Tribe and rightfully so. Francona may be the best manager in MLB right now. However, simply putting him in the dugout in place of Manny Acta is not going to magically make the Indians a winning baseball team. Moves need to be made this offseason. Left field, first base and the starting rotation are all filled with tons of question marks still. What good is it having a top-notch manager if he is not given pieces to manage? Bringing back the same players and pitchers from last season will generate no interest from Cleveland fans (29th in MLB attendance a year ago) and more importantly no AL-Central Division title (fourth place last season).
- Nick Camino