The Indians have had perhaps the quietest offseason in baseball so far, their biggest move being the December 1st Kelly Shoppach–Mitch Talbot swap. Mark Shapiro's only big league free agent contract went to backup catcher Mike Redmond for $850K. The inactivity seems to fit with their rebuilding plan – if the Indians wanted to contend in 2010, they probably wouldn't have traded Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez.
The Tribe's inactivity also stems from a lack of cash, based on a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal says the Indians "explored the idea of trading right-hander Fausto Carmona to clear money for free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, but the possibility is unlikely to come to fruition."
The implication is that the Indians don't have $4-5MM in the 2010 budget for Hudson, despite shedding the $16.7MM that would've been owed to Martinez and Lee. They do have a handful of increasing salaries for '10, Carmona's included. Carmona has two years and $11MM remaining; his contract is a rare example of a regrettable arbitration buyout deal. In terms of dumping contracts, the Indians would benefit greatly from big first halves from Jake Westbrook, Kerry Wood, and Jhonny Peralta.