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The Indians Have Identified a Free Agent Target

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The Tribe is in need of an upgrade in the outfield and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports the team has shown legitimate interest in just such a player, one of the better free agents available.

Jason Miller

According to Crasnick, Shane Victorino is "on the radar" for the Indians. Other teams are listed as well (Red Sox, Rangers, and Reds), but this is the first time I've seen any national writers mention the Tribe as a serious suitor for any of the big free agents. I know a single tweet isn't a lot to get excited about, and many Cleveland fans will see the presence of other, larger market teams as a sign there's no way the the Tribe will land Victorino, but it's notable that they're involved. I'll keep my eye out on more details.

Victorino was ranked ninth on my recent list of the top available position players. He is coming off the worst hitting season of his career:

Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2012 31 154 666 595 72 152 29 7 11 55 39 6 53 80 .255 .321 .383 .704 91

At the same time, as those base stealing numbers show, he's still a great base runner and his fielding is still strong as well. In such a down year for him, the average of his bWAR and fWAR was 2.6, that of a solid starter. I pegged Victorino's next contract at 3 years, $30 million and if his offense rebounds even moderately, that would be a bargain.