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.