The Indians still have (depending where you look) around $7-10M left to spend. Coco Crisp is probably not going anywhere this offseason now that Garciaparra is a Dodger. So how should the Indians spend their remaining dollars?
First, let's take a look at the projected bullpen:
I don't really think the Indians have to upgrade the bullpen. Yeah, they still probably want a better "backup closer," but they'll probably figure out that Cabrera is good enough for that role, his inexperience notwithstanding. Betancourt is better when he's used two-three times a week, and Miller and Sauerbeck are compliments to each other. Riske looks like the odd man out here, especially if they do sign another reliever.
Now, let's take a look at the offense:
This is an obvious area where the Indians need to make some improvement. I think the best way to fix the bottom of the order is to replace Blake with a free agent, and find a platoon partner for Ben Broussard:
That looks better. I think Preston Wilson is the best fit among those left on the market. He has the arm to play right field, he hits from the right side, and is still relatively young (not that it really matters). His days as a center fielder are probably done, but he has enough power to get by as a corner outfielder.
Then there's the rotation:
I could live with this as is. Beyond Millwood and Weaver (who are looking for more than the Indians have to spend), there's guys like Jason Johnson, Josh Fogg, Ryan Franklin, and other 4th/5th starters floating around. I wouldn't be opposed to picking up one of these pitchers on a minor-league deal for insurance purposes, but I'd rather spend the money on the offense.
The trade market is still a realistic option, and I'll try to sift through some possibilities next time.