The Indians don’t have to shed payroll and aren’t looking to make deals just yet, but as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, they’ll have options if they do decide to sell. Kerry Wood, Jake Westbrook and Russell Branyan are among the players the Indians could entertain offers for.
The Indians are most interested in moving Wood and his $10.5MM salary, according to Rosenthal’s sources. That’s a substantial amount of money to pay a reliever recovering from an injury, but the Indians are willing to include cash to obtain better prospects. That strategy worked a couple years ago when they included cash along with Casey Blake and obtained catcher Carlos Santana, who is now ready for the major leagues.
The Indians are less interested in dealing Jake Westbrook, who they may want to re-sign as a free agent. Rosenthal says the Phillies could show interest in Westbrook or Wood, depending on their needs later in the summer.
Clubs are interested in Russell Branyan, but the Indians can’t trade the first baseman without his permission before June 15th, since they just signed him last winter.