The Cleveland Indians have reportedly been in talks to sign free agent Shane Victorino, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland.com. Victorino is one of "many" free agent outfielders the Indians have contacted, says Hoynes, but we do not have confirmation on what other outfielders that includes. We can safely assume, based on their moves so far this season, that the Indians are not contacting the likes of Alex Gordon or Jason Heyward, however.
Victorino was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies for seven-and-a-half seasons, consistently a 3.0 to 4.0 fWAR player through his prime, peaking in 2011 with a 5.7 fWAR season where he hit 17 home runs and slashed .279/.355/.491. After being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2012 trade deadline, Victorino signed with the Boston Red Sox prior to the 2013 season where he put up another career year with 5.9 fWAR while slashing .294/.351/.451 and playing outstanding defense. The same offseason that the Indians attempted to sign him, failed, and went after Nick Swisher instead.
Those years are far behind Victorino, however. The 35-year-old outfielder has played in only 101 games over the past two seasons combined while performing at replacement level with declining defense. The Indians signing Victorino would, yet again, fit into the theory that the front office is merely shopping for aging veterans who could use playing time, potentially as a stop-gap for the crop of young talent they have coming up through the minors--namely Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier.
In theory, Victorino should come dirt-cheap for the Indians and provide a year of passable offense in the Indians outfield, at the very least until Michael Brantley returns from surgery on his torn labrum.