Indians in talks with Cameron, LaRoche

MLB.com can confirm a Cleveland Plain Dealer report indicating that the Indians are in talks with free-agent outfielder Mike Cameron and free-agent infielder Andy LaRoche. Both players would be brought into the fold on Minor League contracts that include non-roster invites to attend Spring Training with the big league club.

Cameron, 38, hit just .203 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 78 games between stints with the Red Sox and Marlins in 2011. He would presumably come into camp with a shot at winning a bench job. His value for Cleveland is as a right-handed bat and a backup for center fielder Grady Sizemore.

As things currently stand, the Indians project to have three left-handed-hitting outfielders (Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo and Sizemore) in the lineup. In all, Cleveland’s starting nine projects to have six lefties and two switch hitters under the current roster composition.

LaRoche, 28, is also a right-handed hitter, and he has enough versatility to handle multiple positions on the field. He hit .247 in 40 games with the A’s last year. LaRoche is a third baseman by trade, but he also has some experience at first base, second base, shortstop and left field.

On Friday, the Indians added infielder Jose Lopez and outfielder Felix Pie on Minor League deals as well. Cleveland also acquired right-handed-hitting outfielder Aaron Cunningham in a trade with the Padres. Cunningham, 25, might have a leg up on the fourth outfielder’s role considering he is out of Minor League options.

The Indians remain in the market for a right-handed power bat — preferably at first base. The trade route is looking increasingly more likely than free agency.

–Jordan Bastian

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