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Antonetti already in prep mode for Trade Deadline

Antonetti already in prep mode for Trade Deadline

Antonetti already in prep mode for Trade Deadline

BALTIMORE -- The Indians are heading toward July within striking distance of the first-place Tigers in the American League Central. Under the circumstances, Cleveland will likely be classified as a buyer in the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

General manager Chris Antonetti has already been active on that front.

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"We have," Antonetti said on Tuesday at Camden Yards. "The intensity of those calls with other teams has certainly picked up over the course of the last couple of weeks. I still think it's an evolving process of teams defining what their needs might be, and that's certainly the case for us as well.

"We're most hopeful of just getting all our guys back healthy and allowing us to play healthy for a while. And then we'll see where we are in a few weeks."

Entering this season, Cleveland's rotation was considered the weak part of the roster, but the team's starters have pitched well enough to keep the club in contention. The Indians might still be in the market for a starting pitcher, but Antonetti has been happy with the overall showing of the arms in place.

"We'll see," he said. "Those needs can evolve over the course of a few weeks, but we feel good about the group of guys we have here. They've pitched pretty well here over the last few weeks. If they can maintain that level of consistency and continue to give us a chance to win most every time out, that's a good foundation to build from."

One area of the roster that has not performed as well as expected is the bullpen. The left-handed relievers have been inconsistent, and the back end of the staff was dealt a blow when All-Star closer Chris Perez landed on the disabled list with an issue in his right shoulder. Perez is due back soon, and Antonetti plans on keeping an eye on the bullpen's progress throughout July.

"We'll continue to assess it," he said. "If there's an opportunity to improve, we'll look to do that, but I continue to believe in the guys that we have down there. It's been good to see, especially over the past couple of days, they do a really good job in some key situations."

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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