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Rumor that Indians are after James Shields seems really thin

When does an unnamed source need a name?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night an outlet called the Lake County Sentinel reported that the Indians have made an offer to James Shields, saying this report came via "a source not inside the Cleveland Indians organization but with knowledge of workings inside the organization."

Who exactly would qualify as such a source? The FedEx guy who makes deliveries at Progressive Field a couple times a week? Chris Antonetti's barber? I'm all for passing along rumors, not because I expect anything to come of most of them, but because it's worth knowing things that have a reasonable chance of happening, giving us something to ponder during a time with no actual baseball to watch and discuss. Still, this particular rumor seems too thin, as evidenced by none of the beat writers having commented on it, and none of the big purveyors of hot stove happenings having jumped on it.

Tribe items

The Ohio State Buckeyes won the National Championship in something called football Monday night. This means the segment of Indians fans who also root for Ohio State (despite their status as the Yankees of midwest  college pigskin) had something to be happy about. Among those with Tribe and OSU connections is Nick Swisher, who enjoyed last night's game.

Jordan Bastian answers reader questions on the bullpen, the possibility of bringing Jack Hannahan back, and the possibility of Ryan Raburn playing (gasp!) third base.

Paul Hoynes answers reader questions on the defense, the fifth spot in the starting rotation, attendance, and bringing back red uniforms.

I'm feeling left out. Maybe Let's Go Tribe should start its own reader Q&A...

From around MLB

Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have a book on baseball front offices coming out later this year. In the meantime, they're blogging about the topic, undertaking a ranking of the 25 best GMs in baseball history. The introductory post is up now. Will anyone from the Indians make the list???

Tigers beat writer Anthony Fenech tweets that Miguel Cabrera won't be ready for the start of spring training, and that it's too early to know about Opening Day. Anything that hurts Detroit's chances is good for the Tribe.

Mark Hendrickson, who hasn't pitched in MLB since 2011, is mounting a comeback. At 41 years old, he's very old for MLB, but not historically so. More interesting about his case: He's a grandfather. All of our Jason Giambi jokes have a chance of really coming true with Hendrickson. MASN has the story on him.

Roy Halladay is enjoying retirement.