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Cleveland Indians: A look back at the biggest moves and rumors of the 2014 Winter Meetings

Also known as Mark Shapiro's final Winter Meetings as Indians Club President.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 Winter Meetings set to start next Monday, there is no better time than now to look back at last year's Winter Meetings. Think back, if you can, to the distant past of the year 2014 A.D. The Cleveland Indians were in a much different spot then. Optimism was high coming off an 85-77 season, and most of us believed the Tribe were one or two moves away from building a Championship team (including Sports Illustrated…). The front office apparently believed this as well, because they did not do a whole lot in the Winter Meetings.

The Brandon Moss trade

Speaking strictly of transactions, the Indians did only one thing during the Meetings: Trade for Brandon Moss. Rumors of a trade between the Indians and Moss’ former team, the Oakland Athletics, started kicking up a full five days before the Winter Meetings started. On December 3, Jason Lukehart looked at the potential trade with caution. Adding another 1B/DH/OF type could work, but not if it meant giving up a lot of talent. Luckily, the Indians did not have to give up much.

It only took a day before rumors correctly pinpointed Joey Wendle as the potential trade piece for Moss. Wendle was ranked as the Tribe’s No. 9 prospect at the time, but trading away a second baseman who was two years away from playing for a Major League-proven outfielder seemed like a crazy amount of value for the Indians.

As we know now, the Moss trade was not enough to push the Indians into Championship territory, but they did end up trading him at the deadline for pitcher Rob Kaminsky, who MLB.com ranks as the Indians No. 1 pitching prospect. It is hard to complain about turning Joey Wendle into one of your organization’s top prospects.

Interest in Justin Upton

On the rumor front, the Indians were frequently linked to then-Atlanta Braves outfielder Justin Upton. Joel Sherman of the New York Post originally tweeted out that the Braves had not yet received an offer they liked, but several teams—including the Indians—had contacted them about the outfielder. Upton ultimately wound up on the San Diego Padres in a swap for prospects Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson and Mallex Smith. The Padres went all in on other players as well, acquiring Matt Kemp and Wil Myers on their way to a 74-88 season in 2015.

Teams wanted Carlos Santana

The Indians also nearly made half of Twitter extremely happy by trading Carlos Santana. Nothing ever came of it, but several teams were reportedly interested in acquiring for the Tribe first baseman.

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So last year’s Winter Meetings were bit underwhelming looking back, but things were looking up for the Indians. This year they have several, much larger holes that need to be fixed so we should see some more action from first-year general manager Mike Chernoff and the rest of the Indians front office.