The Indians may have had their playoff hopes dashed by the Tigers, but with a strong performance over the next week and a half, they'll still finish the season with a winning record. Cleveland sends Justin Masterson to the hill against the Twins today, looking to finish off a sweep and get back to .500. Before they get underway at Target Field, let's check out a few Tribe-related links….
- The Indians figure to pursue starting rotation depth and a right-handed bat this winter, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Pluto also expects the club to exercise Grady Sizemore's 2012 option, though he's not as sure about Fausto Carmona's. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes said earlier this month that Carmona's option "requires pause, but is worth exercising," and also predicted Sizemore's option will be exercised.
- Within Pluto's piece, he notes that the Tribe should end up drawing more than 1.8 million fans this season, well above their projected figure of 1.3 million. The bump in attendance will help accommodate a payroll increase for 2012.
- The Indians have sent $20K to the Twins to complete the Jim Thome trade, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer fields reader questions in his latest mailbag, discussing Casey Kotchman, Orlando Cabrera, and September callups, among other topics.
- The Star-Ledger's Mike Vorkunov looks at the Indians and a few other teams whose playoff hopes fell by the wayside in the second half. He briefly explains what went wrong and why there's hope next year for each club.