Indians interested in Moss

The Indians have engaged in trade talks with the A’s about first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss, MLB.com confirmed on Wednesday night. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group first reported that Oakland was listening to the Indians about a possible Moss deal.

Cleveland is in the market for an impact bat this winter and Moss (with 76 homers from 2012-14) fits that mold. Moss hit only .234 last season, but he had 25 home runs, 81 RBIs and a .772 OPS in a season hindered by a right hip injury that he had surgically repaired in October. It was a solid, but down year for the 31-year-old Moss, who had a .954 OPS in 2012 and .859 OPS in ’13.

While Moss would bring power to Cleveland, he’d also bring a positional logjam. Cleveland has Carlos Santana for first base (and part-time DH) and Nick Swisher for DH (and part-time first base). Swisher, David Murphy and Ryan Raburn also have the potential to play right field. Moss can play first base and right field, making for an interesting assortment of potential options for manager Terry Francona.

If the Indians do acquire Moss, it’s possible that the club might try to trade Murphy, Raburn or Swisher. Earlier this winter, it was reported that Cleveland was gauging the market for Swisher, who is coming back from surgery on both knees and is owed $30 million through 2016.

–Jordan Bastian

 

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