Reinstated OF Shin-Soo Choo, OF Michael Brantley, RHP Carlos Carrasco, and RHP Josh Tomlin from 60-Day Disabled List
After the season, teams have to remove all players from both Disabled Lists. By reinstating these four, the Indians add them back onto the 40-Man Roster. Choo, Brantley, and Tomlin should be healthy in time for next spring, but the Indians will place Carrasco (Tommy John surgery) on the 60-Day DL as soon as they can next season.
Outrighted OF Trevor Crowe to Columbus (AAA)
Crowe was also on the 60-Day DL, but instead of reinstating him, the Indians removed him from the 40-Man Roster. Trevor will remain with the organization, as this is the first time he's been outrighted and he doesn't have the service time to become a minor-league free agent. He can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, though that's unlikely, since a club was interested in him, they would have claimed him on waivers.
Crowe spent almost the entire 2011 season on the DL with a shoulder injury, only appearing briefly with the big-league club in September. Depending on what the Indians do via free agency or trade, he may have a shot at winning a job as a reserve outfielder, but it's more likely that he'll be in Columbus. He hasn't hit at the major-league level, and is now two seasons removed from hitting .297/.401/.400 in AAA.
RHP Chad Durbin, DH Jim Thome, and OF Kosuke Fukudome Elected Free Agency
It used to be that eligible players would have to file for free agency, but now they all automatically become free agents a couple days after the World Series. The Indians will not be bringing Durbin or Thome back, but they may have some interest in bringing back Fukudome. Kosuke will be 35 next year, but he still can play center field, and the Indians need a second outfielder capable of playing center.
With these moves, the 40-Man Roster now stand at 38, giving the Indians room to sign a couple free agents without having to remove a player.