Urshela won't need surgery for knee sprain

Urshela won't need surgery for knee sprain

CLEVELAND -- Giovanny Urshela, freshly added to the 40-man roster, is an interesting name in the 2015 mix for an Indians team that struggled defensively last season. And on Friday, the team got good news in the form of official word that Urshela should be physically prepared to be a part of that mix by the start of the 2015 campaign.

Urshela tweaked his left knee in the Venezuelan Winter League last week and had to be yanked out of action. A visit with Dr. Rick Parker at the Cleveland Clinic on Friday confirmed that Urshela has a sprain of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the knee, but the injury won't require surgery.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: Should Tribe bring back righties to bolster staff?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian fields questions from Cleveland fans this offseason

Inbox: Should Tribe bring back righties to bolster staff?

Is trading Nick Swisher to the Orioles for Ubaldo Jimenez a realistic possibility?
-- Joe B., Cleveland

To bring some readers up to date, Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Indians have explored trading Swisher for another player with an inflated contract. Given Swisher's subpar, injury-plagued season in 2014, it makes complete sense for Cleveland to gauge what kind of interest there might be on the trade market for him.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Indians unveil spring schedule, open vs. Reds

Highlights include fireworks night, Brantley bobblehead, Kids Run the Bases

Indians unveil spring schedule, open vs. Reds

CLEVELAND -- For Northeast Ohioans already fighting off freezing temps and snowstorms in November, a welcomed sign of spring emerged Friday -- the release of the Indians' 2015 Spring Training schedule.

Pitchers and catchers will report to the Goodyear, Ariz., Player Development Complex on Feb. 18, with position players arriving by Feb. 22 and the full squad taking the field for the first time Feb. 24. The Tribe's Cactus League schedule will begin March 3 against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark, and it will include 19 games at the home facility (including three as the visiting team against the Reds).

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Indians bullpen coach Cash a finalist for Rays manager

Indians bullpen coach Cash a finalist for Rays manager

CLEVELAND -- The Tampa Bay Rays have whittled their managerial candidates list from 10 to three, and Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash remains in play.

Cash, a Tampa native, joins Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu and 19-year Major League veteran Raul Ibanez as the three finalists. The Rays have said all along that they plan to have their new manager in place by the Winter Meetings. So while a decision might not come before Thanksgiving, it will come relatively soon.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Urshela among five protected from Rule 5 Draft

Indians also add Wolters, Anderson, Merritt and Armstrong to 40-man roster

Urshela among five protected from Rule 5 Draft

CLEVELAND -- Given the increasing emphasis on the need for young, controllable talent, sometimes the more impactful roster additions an organization makes in the offseason are the ones that come internally. The Indians made five such additions Thursday as a precursor to next month's Rule 5 Draft.

The five players new to the 40-man roster and therefore protected from that Draft are as follows: Third baseman Giovanny Urshela, right-handed starter Cody Anderson, left-handed reliever Ryan Merritt, right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong and catcher Tony Wolters. While Urshela and Armstrong are the only two of the five to have reached the Triple-A level, all of them were Rule 5-eligible and thus would have been ripe for the taking by any other Major League club at the Dec. 11 event.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Lindor ranks among top prospects from AFL

Lindor ranks among top prospects from AFL

The 23rd edition of the Arizona Fall League wrapped up with Salt River's win in the championship game over Peoria on Saturday. Once again, the AFL was jam packed with elite-level prospects.

That made putting together a top prospects list fairly easy. There were so many good players, it was decided to expand the list to a top 25, up from the typical 20. The list was compiled by Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Teddy Cahill, along with feedback from a number of scouts who covered the league this fall. This list is more about long-term potential, but AFL performances were certainly taken into account.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Third annual Tribe Fest Jan. 24-25 at Progressive Field

Several players past and present to attend event

Third annual Tribe Fest Jan. 24-25 at Progressive Field

The Indians' third annual Tribe Fest, a chance for fans to mingle with numerous players past and present, will take place Jan. 24-25 at Progressive Field.

Current Indians players scheduled to participate include Jason Kipnis, Yan Gomes, Michael Bourn and Carlos Santana, among many others.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Santana puts on youth-fundamental clinic in Okinawa

Santana puts on youth-fundamental clinic in Okinawa

NAHA, Japan -- If anything, the fervor over Major League Baseball's All-Star team in Japan has only increased over the past two weeks. Early Wednesday evening, Red Sox manager John Farrell, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma visited Shuri Castle, Okinawa's seat of power for nearly half a millennium and the top tourist site on this southerly island outpost. Nearby, a group of schoolchildren were taking group photos in front of the castle.

Suddenly, one of the children noticed the big league ballplayers and screamed. The entire scrum began sprinting toward them, until a group of security officers managed to turn them back.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Japan Series bonding: Santiago kisses Francona's head

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Japan Series bonding: Santiago kisses Francona's head

Don't try to understand why Angels pitcher Hector Santiago kissed Terry Francona's head on the flight to Okinawa for their last exhibition match in the Japan Series. 

For one, Santiago says it was for a dare, for team bonding. But also because it's best to be Francona: Simply take the world as it comes, reclined in your plush airplane seat, with a tranquil smile on your face.

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Francona, Farrell and Hale thrilled to reunite in Japan

Farrell, Francona and Hale thrilled to reunite at All-Star Series in Japan

Francona, Farrell and Hale thrilled to reunite in Japan

SAPPORO, Japan -- Halfway around the world, in vast domes bearing little resemblance to baseball stadiums back home, John Farrell, Terry Francona and DeMarlo Hale hunkered down together in clubhouse after clubhouse. Each day, they had opportunities to talk about their strange surroundings. They had chances to compare their favorite types of sushi. They had plenty of time to discuss the weather.

Mostly, though, their minds stayed elsewhere.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Gomes, Kluber form dynamic duo for Indians

Companions on road to Majors, battery shares credit for Cy Young Award

Gomes, Kluber form dynamic duo for Indians

CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes was feeling nervous in the moments leading up to the American League Cy Young Award announcement last week. With his young daughter at his side, the Indians catcher watched his television and waited anxiously to hear if Corey Kluber won the vote.

"I think she got nervous from me," Gomes said with a laugh. "She got a little fussy and I was walking her around."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Right-handers Marcum, Molleken invited to Indians camp

Club looking to add depth to pitching staff

Right-handers Marcum, Molleken invited to Indians camp

CLEVELAND -- Shaun Marcum signed with the Indians last offseason partly because of the good reputation the club's medical staff had around baseball. Cleveland offered the pitcher a chance at a comeback, and he has shown his appreciation by signing again for a second season.

On Tuesday, Marcum and right-hander Dustin Molleken signed Minor League contracts with the Indians, who will bring both pitchers to camp this coming spring as non-roster invitees. Marcum remains an intriguing bounceback candidate for the Tribe's rotation depth.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Urshela's winter ball stay cut short by injured knee

Urshela's winter ball stay cut short by injured knee

CLEVELAND -- Giovanny Urshela's breakout year in the Indians' farm system put him one phone call away from the big leagues this past season. Cleveland is hoping his current knee injury will not disrupt his offseason too much as the organization plans for 2015.

On Monday, Urshela was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on his left knee in Venezuela, where he has been suiting up for Aguilas de Zulia in winter ball. The Indians' medical staff was initially informed that Urshela "tweaked" his left knee while running the bases in a game on Saturday, but Cleveland was awaiting more clarity on the extent of the injury.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline Perspectives: Bryant, Lindor the next ROYs

Big rookie seasons projected for Cubs third baseman, Tribe shortstop in 2015

Pipeline Perspectives: Bryant, Lindor the next ROYs

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

A week ago, the Rookie of the Year Award winners were named. So we figured enough time had passed for the engraving to set in that we should look ahead to the 2015 ROY Award races.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kluber's trek to stardom slow and steady

Former Padres farm director Gayton knew right-hander was special

Kluber's trek to stardom slow and steady

CLEVELAND -- Farm directors see hundreds of players across the country on scouting trips. Years after a journey to a particular dusty diamond, they might struggle to recall the details of who they saw play that day or the initial impression of the athlete who drew their attention.

Bill Gayton does not have that problem when Corey Kluber's name is mentioned. Known as "Chief" throughout baseball, Gayton specifically remembers his trip to Melching Field in Deland, Fla., to watch Kluber pitch for Stetson University. The right-hander's pregame bullpen session was impressive enough on its own.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tribe mulling Masterson reunion

Dealt in July, righty may return on short-term deal

Tribe mulling Masterson reunion

CLEVELAND -- Less than a year ago, the Indians were discussing a multiyear contract extension for sinkerballer Justin Masterson. At the time, the pitcher was expected to be one of the premier arms available through free agency this offseason.

The talks between Masterson and Cleveland broke down, the right-hander was traded to the Cardinals in July and now he is looking to re-establish himself with a short-term deal. Given their strong history and rapport with Masterson, the Indians are one of about a dozen teams that have already checked in with the pitcher's camp this winter.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Model of consistency, Brantley third in AL MVP voting

Following breakout season, outfielder finishes behind Trout, V-Mart

Model of consistency, Brantley third in AL MVP voting

CLEVELAND -- The Indians view Michael Brantley as the model ballplayer for teammates and prospects to follow. This was evident in the spring, when general manager Chris Antonetti requested that a transcript of Brantley's quotes during a press conference be distributed to the team's Minor Leaguers.

Brantley's consistency with his comments, demeanor and production are reasons why Cleveland invested in a long-term contract for the outfielder before the 2014 season began. Brantley showed his gratitude with an All-Star campaign that ranked as one of the greatest seasons in franchise history, and led to Thursday's third-place finish in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kluber wins American League Cy Young Award

Right-hander edges out Hernandez, Sale to take home honors

Kluber wins American League Cy Young Award

CLEVELAND -- Pitch by pitch, game by game, Corey Kluber steadily cemented his place among baseball's elite arms this past season. He embraced being a leader for a young starting rotation, which was tasked with carrying a heavy load for a club clinging to contention as summer gave way to fall.

Through it all, it seemed premature to attach the "ace" label to his name, considering the nature of Kluber's breakout season. Now, though, after the voters had their say and named him the 2014 winner of the AL Cy Young Award, there is no more denying that the right-hander deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Major League's best pitchers.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stetson alumni Kluber, deGrom bring pride to university

Stetson alumni Kluber, deGrom bring pride to university

DELAND, Fla. -- Walk through the baseball offices of Melching Field at Conrad Park, move past the bulletin board covered with fresh news clippings and step into the Stetson Hatters' locker room. Check out one locker under a flat-panel TV and another near the door to the dugout.

One is signed by Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner; the other by Jacob deGrom, 2014 National League Rookie of the Year.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kluber took role of leader in Cy Young season

Kluber took role of leader in Cy Young season

CLEVELAND -- Shortly after the Indians traded Justin Masterson to the Cardinals in July,Corey Kluber was instructed to head into manager Terry Francona's office in Cleveland. Inside, Kluber was also joined by pitching coach Mickey Callaway and bullpen coach Kevin Cash.

Kluber quickly learned that the meeting was not as cryptic as it may have seemed upon reaching the doorway. Francona and the coaches wanted to detail some new expectations for Kluber for the final two months of the season. The task for Kluber was to assume the role of rotation leader, guiding a young pitching staff that was integral for a postseason push.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Kluber over Felix for AL Cy Young the right choice

Seven factors why Indians' ace deserved award over Mariners' Hernandez

Kluber over Felix for AL Cy Young the right choice

Talk about two extremes. Voting for the National League Cy Young Award was an easy, uncontested, "check the box next to Clayton Kershaw and move on to more difficult decisions, such as what to have for dinner" arrangement. Voting for the American League Cy Young Award, on the other hand, was a painstaking prescription for split-the-baby style scrutiny involving consultation of the heart, the mind, the gut and -- gulp -- the math.

In the end, what we were left with Wednesday night was a unanimous NL win for Kershaw that nobody worthwhile could argue against, and an AL upset in which the upstart Corey Kluber defeated King Felix Hernandez. And at the risk of never again receiving a cordial welcome in the lovely city of Seattle, I think the voters absolutely got this one right, too.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Santana rides strong finish with Tribe into Japan Series

Santana rides strong finish with Tribe into Japan Series

OSAKA, Japan -- For Carlos Santana, 2014 did not start well. A difficult attempt to become the Indians' starting third baseman, along with a slow start at the plate, set a negative tone for the beginning of his season.

However, the switch-hitting first baseman from the Dominican Republic regained his form in June, when he came back from a concussion sustained the previous month while making the last of his 11 appearances at catcher. And now, to finish off the year, Santana is part of the MLB squad facing Samurai Japan, the county's national team, in the Japan All-Star Series.

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David Venn is the executive editor for LasMayores.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Antonetti looking to find Indians complementary pieces

Antonetti looking to find Indians complementary pieces

PHOENIX -- As Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has gone through the early stages of the annual roster reconstruction process, he is comforted by the fact that his club produced a better record than everyone in the American League except for three clubs -- Orioles, Angels, Royals -- during the final two months of the 2014 regular season.

Antonetti also has the benefit of knowing his pitching staff will once again be led by American League Cy Young Award finalist Corey Kluber. But given the fact that Kluber stood as the only Cleveland pitcher to complete more than 153 innings this past season, the Indians will likely spend the next few weeks attempting to fortify their starting rotation.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Carlos Santana has become a wandering samurai

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Carlos Santana has become a wandering samurai

Say goodbye to Carlos Santana, baseball player, and hello to Carlos Santana, noble warrior. When trouble found him on the road to the stadium, he responded like any good samurai would. 

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Francona fifth in AL Manager of Year balloting

Francona fifth in AL Manager of Year balloting

CLEVELAND -- The Indians did not have a playoff berth to boast about this past season, but that should not diminish the work done by manager Terry Francona. Injuries, inconsistencies and a second-half youth movement increased the challenge for Cleveland's leader.

On Tuesday, Francona's work was recognized with a fifth-place showing in balloting for the Baseball Writers' Association of America's American League Manager of the Year Award, which went to Baltimore's Buck Showalter. It marked the sixth time in Francona's managerial career that he finished within the top five for the annual honor.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: Will the Tribe swap starting pitching for bats?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian fields questions from Cleveland fans this offseason

Inbox: Will the Tribe swap starting pitching for bats?

Do you see the Indians dealing from a position of strength and depth, such as starting pitching, in order to bolster their lineup? If so, what could you see as a feasible trade?
-- Collin H., Olmsted Falls, Ohio

As we sit here today, the Indians project to have one of the best and most cost-effective rotations in the Major Leagues next season. Of course, that means the club also has some attractive trading chips for possible deals to upgrade other aspects of the roster.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Breakout stars Brantley, Gomes win first Silver Sluggers

First time a pair of Indians teammates captures the award since 2000 season

Breakout stars Brantley, Gomes win first Silver Sluggers

CLEVELAND -- They each arrived quietly. Michael Brantley was acquired by the Indians as a player to be named in a blockbuster trade with the Brewers six years ago. Yan Gomes was included in a three-player trade with Toronto three winters ago.

It is safe to say that they are no longer unknowns.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tribe's Santana headed to Far East as All-Star

Francona joining first baseman on trip to Japan for five-game series, exhibitions

Tribe's Santana headed to Far East as All-Star

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Santana has routinely participated in winter ball throughout his career with the Indians. This month, Cleveland's first baseman is taking things a step further by suiting up for the Major League Baseball All-Stars in Japan.

On Friday, MLB and the MLB Players Association officially announced the 29-man roster for the All-Star team that will head overseas for the Japan All-Star Series. Joining Santana from the Indians will be manager Terry Francona, who will serve as a coach on MLB All-Star manager John Farrell's staff.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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