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Cleveland Indians Sunday News and Notes: November 9, 2014

Another offseason plan for the Indians, and another profile of Tribe superprospect Francisco Lindor.

Francisco Lindor
Francisco Lindor
Rob Tringali

As opposed to other sports, baseball's offseason isn't that defined. Yes, free agency officially starts at a specific time, but don't expect all the best available players to sign quickly. Because baseball does not have a salary cap (soft or hard), players do not feel pressure to sign as soon as they get what they feel is a decent offer. So the offseason for baseball is often a leisurely affair, with big signings and big trades sprinkled throughout the winter months. The Winter Meetings is an exception, as all the front offices are together at one hotel, but that usually only involves trades.

As for the Indians, I wouldn't expect much in the way of free agent signings. One, they don't have a gaping hole that would necessitate a free agent signing, and two, they're already pretty close to their 2015 payroll right now. They'll probably leave some room for in-house contract extension (most notably Corey Kluber), but besides that I don't see them giving out contracts of any appreciable size this winter.

The DiaTribe: GM for a Day on a Lazy Sunday

Al puts forth some moves that the Indians could make this winter. None of them are particularly headline-grabbing, but each would improve the club in some way. I especially was intrigued the Shaw-for-Van Slyke deal with the Dodgers. Though I think Carlos Moncrief can eventually be at the very least a platoon outfielder, Van Slyke can give the Indians a boost in right field immediately, and I think now would be a good time to sell high on Shaw given the amount of innings he's thrown.

He also mentioned some semi-depth starting pitcher signings, which the Indians are going to be involved in. One thing that hasn't been mentioned a whole lot is that the pitching staff (particularly the starting rotation) missed almost no time due to injury. Justin Masterson was the lone starter to spend time on the Disabled List, and he was traded in July anyway. The Indians were rather fortunate because of this, as they didn't really have much depth at the position. After they brought up TJ House, the next guy on the minor-league depth chart was probably going to be Tyler Cloyd, who allowed 9.8 H/9 in AAA this past season. So I'm on-board with signing at least one starter to stick in the back of the rotation, as that would allow the Indians to stash two starters (Josh Tomlin, Danny Salazar, TJ House) in Columbus and Zach McAllister in the bullpen.

New age, same goal for Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Lindor -- get to big leagues | cleveland.com

Another piece on Francisco Lindor, who was just named the top prospect in the system by Baseball America (not that that was any surprise). Francisco is batting .256/.316/.367 in the Arizona Fall League, which is a sort of a super-AAA league, and according to the article he's seen more off-speed pitches in hitters counts. That experience should help him when he makes his major-league debut at some point next season.

Should Cleveland Indians trade prospect Francisco Lindor? Hey, Hoynsie! | cleveland.com

No. Next question.

Latest 40-man Roster

Nov 9 2014

Not a whole lot happened in the last week.

November 3

OF JB Shuck claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox*

C Chris Gimenez outrighted to Columbus (AAA) - becomes minor-league free agent

Signed RHP Tyler Cloyd to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training

I still don't understand the Shuck acquisition, and really don't understand it now. Shuck still has options remaining, so I thought perhaps they were just keeping him on the roster so that they could send him to the minors in 2015 to serve as major-league depth. Perhaps the Indians decided that Holt and Moncrief (and Ramsey, if needed) were adequate depth and decided to try to sneak Shuck through waivers. Which I agree with, just a bit puzzled as to why this wasn't apparent a couple months ago.

*Perhaps the White Sox will acquire David Lough (Green, Ohio) this offseason and run out an all-Ohio outfield with he, Schuck (Galion), and Adam Eaton (Springfield). That would make for some interesting radio broadcasts.