Indians Notes: Albers, Carson, Antonetti

December 6th has been a notable day in Indians transaction history.  The Tribe acquired Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Chris James from the Padres in exchange for Joe Carter on this day in 1989, and on 12/06/2002, the Indians picked up Travis Hafner (and righty Aaron Myette) from the Rangers in exchange for Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese.  Going all the way back to 1959, the Indians swung a seven-player deal with the White Sox that involved such notables as Minnie Minoso (to Chicago) and Norm Cash (to Cleveland).

Here are some notes about the modern-day Indians…

  • Right-hander Matt Albers has already received at least one two-year contract offer from an interested team, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.  Albers has received interest from several clubs, and Hoynes reports that one of those teams is from the AL Central, possibly the Tigers or White Sox.  The Indians have discussed a one-year deal with Albers and Hoynes speculates that the righty could take the shorter contract in order to help his value for next winter, provided he gets the right price.
  • The Indians are close to re-signing Matt Carson after non-tendering the outfielder earlier this week, Hoynes reports (Twitter link).  The contract would be a minor league deal and Carson would be invited to the Major League Spring Training camp.  The Tribe non-tendered Carson earlier this week.  Carson, 31, hit .252/.322/.394 with 14 homers in 490 PA with Triple-A Columbus last season, and he also received 13 PA in 20 games at the Major League level in 2013.
  • The Indians' offseason "focus right now is pitching," GM Chris Antonetti told reporters (including Hoynes) today.  "We’re still focused on trying to improve our pitching alternatives. We have come into the offseason in a much better position than we have in prior offseasons with the quality and quantity of our pitching alternatives on our roster and within the organization. That being said, we’re going to continue to try and find a way to improve it.”  Antonetti noted that the team would keep its options open for position players, though adding David Murphy already addressed one of the Tribe's big needs.
  • The team has "outstanding offers…on trades and free agents.  We could go either direction or both," Antonetti said.
  • With the 2013-14 offseason shaping up as an extremely costly one for free agent contracts, Antonetti is looking prescient for predicting this winter's spending explosion and instead adding key pieces last winter, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince writes.  It looks like a much more low-key offseason for the Tribe this year, and Castrovince thinks Murphy's two-year, $12MM deal could end up being Cleveland's biggest expenditure.


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