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Cleveland Indians News and Notes: 40-man roster cleared for the offseason

The week in procedural transactions.

The Indians missed out on Byung-ho Park
The Indians missed out on Byung-ho Park
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Here's a recap of the moves made in the past week.

Indians Transactions

November 2

IF Mike Aviles, RHP Ryan Webb, and RHP Gavin Floyd declared free agency

These are automatic moves. Gone are the days when players have to file paperwork to become free agents; now everyone who doesn't have a contract for the 2016 season becomes a free agent the day after the World Series ends.

It was a difficult 2015 season for Mike Aviles both on and off the field (he talks to Andre Knott about his season here). Early in the season his daughter Adriana was diagnosed with leukemia, and he understandably was away from the club while she underwent treatment in Cleveland. After returning to the team, he served as a utility player, playing both the infield and the outfield. He struggled at the plate, finishing the season with his worst offensive line since he was breaking into the majors. I think the Indians may offer him a minor-league deal/NRI but nothing more than that, as Jose Ramirez has emerged as the primary backup infielder.

Ryan Webb did a decent job for the Indians in the second half of the year, but I don't see the Indians making a push to re-sign him. Instead of signing Webb, they'll try to find next year's version in minor-league free agency.

Gavin Floyd is an interesting free agent, because he returned to the mound late in the season after another elbow surgery, but not as a starter. His velocity had returned, but again, he wasn't able to show that over multiple innings. Still, I think he gets a major-league deal from somebody given his history, and I don't think it will be from the Indians, as they have more pressing priorities this winter.

November 4

Declined the 2016 option on OF Ryan Raburn, who became a free agent

Cleveland Indians decline Ryan Raburn's $3 million option - Let's Go Tribe

Raburn's option was only $3M, which isn't much even for a role player. Make no mistake: Ryan Raburn is player who is useful only (and I stress the word only) against left-handed pitchers, but perhaps with the limitations of Tito's bench Raburn was too much a luxury, especially with Chris Johnson on the roster. He'll get a deal somewhere, whether as a platoon partner with somebody or as a National League pinch-hitter.

November 7

Outrighted  C Adam Moore

Activated LHP Nick Hagadone and LHP TJ House from the 60-day Disabled List

Signed RHP Joe Colon to a minor-league contract and invited him to Spring Training

Indians activate Nick Hagadone, TJ House | indians.com

MLB clubs are required to activate anybody on the 60-day DL soon after the end of the World Series, so that's what this was about. Moore was added to the roster in September to serve as a third catcher, allowing the Indians to put both Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez in the lineup at the same time. With the season over, Moore became a roster liability, and has become a free agent.

Hagadone and House should both be ready to pitch when Spring Training begins in February. Hagadone is eligible for arbitration, and although he isn't projected to make too much, there's the possibility that the Indians non-tender him and attempt to re-sign him as a minor-league free agent. I would guess that he stays on the 40-man roster, but as he's out of option he'll need to finally prove himself a reliable pitcher out of the bullpen to stick around next season. House is very likely headed to Columbus next year, serving as rotation depth.

Indians News

Indians fall short in Park bidding " Major League Bastian

We don't yet know who won the bidding for Byung-ho Park, but we do know it wasn't the Indians. The process works like this for Korean (and Japanese) players: once eligible, his club may post a player for major-league clubs, who them make a blind bid for exclusive negotiation rights. According to the article, the winning bid was $12.85M, which will go to Park's team (Nexen Heroes) if Park does agree to a contract with the MLB club. Park, who hit 53 home runs last season, would have been a nice acquisition for the Indians, who really need to add power to their lineup.

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Austin Meadows powers West Division to AFL Fall Stars Game win | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Clint Frazier was the Indians' representative, starting in center field and hitting second for the AFL East squad. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Latest 40-man roster

embiggened version here

We're in off-season mode, so I've added service time and 2016 salaries (in some cases estimated).

Nov 8 2015

For now I'll assume a six-man rotation, but that will be resolved at some point this winter. If the Indians don't trade a starter and everyone is healthy in April, then Anderson is headed to Columbus. Obvious needs for the club: an outfielder, and either a first baseman or third baseman. I think the Indians would prefer a first baseman, as that would move Carlos Santana to DH.

Keep in mind that although the Indians won't be adding more than a couple net players to the roster via trades and free agency, they will need to add minor-leaguers to the roster to avoid them being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.