Indians in holding pattern

The Indians aren’t necessarily waiting until the Trade Deadline’s arrival to make a move, that’s just the way things appear to be going. If the right trade proposal was in hand, Cleveland wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

“If we had the right deal, we would move on that deal,” Indians general Chris Antonetti said on Friday. “There’s nothing keeping us from doing it. We don’t have to wait for the Deadline.

“But, it has to b the right deal that makes the right sense, and I don’t necessarily see that happening in the short term.”

The clock is ticking and Cleveland still has needs in the rotation, lineup and bullpen. While Antonetti has said no singular area is a higher priority than another, the main issues this year have been a lack of consistent starting pitching and an impact right-handed bat.

The Tribe prefers to target players under control beyond 2012.

One player that fits that mold is San Diego’s switch-hitting third baseman, Chase Headley. He won’t become eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season, making him the type of player Cleveland likes. The Tribe has indeed inquired about Headley, but the asking price is expensive. reported that the Orioles, A’s and Pirates are also among Headley’s most aggressive suitors.

In the selling department, the Indians have attractive chips in closer Chris Perez (whose salary will spike through arbitration this winter) and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (likely headed for free agency after next season). As things currently stand, Cleveland seems unlikely to deal either player.

It’s not always about aggressively buying or selling, though. There is a chance that Cleveland might partner up with another “buyer” to try to orchestrate a trade that addresses needs for both teams.

“You can try to re-position yourselves,” Antonetti said. “There may be opportunities in this market where two buyers potentially line up to address other needs, because there aren’t enough sellers for the buyers that are out there.

“It could spur teams to be more creative and potentially trade from an area of depth or perceived depth to address another need.”

–Jordan Bastian


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