CLEVELAND -- Indians general manager Chris Antonetti is waiting for that first domino to fall. Once one team pulls the trigger on a major trade, things have a way of gaining momentum and deals begin to happen fast all around baseball.
That makes knowing when the Tribe might finalize a trade tough to determine.
"Honestly, I don't know," Antonetti said on Tuesday. "Literally, the next phone call could be that deal that could be the right value and we'll line up and have something to announce later tonight. But, it's really hard to say when those things may come together."
One thing that Antonetti made clear -- while sticking to his modus operandi of not delving into specifics -- was that the Indians have a number of proposals in play at the moment. Cleveland's primary focus is on improving the team's offense, but the team has also explored ways to upgrade its pitching staff.
Antonetti said he has even discussed deals that would potentially include more than two teams.
Major League Baseball's non-tender Trade Deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Sunday and, for the first time in a few years, the Tribe is playing the role of buyer. Antonetti has been on the other side of things as an assistant GM. Now, sitting in the general manager's seat for the first time, he likes his new view.
"I'd always rather be on this side of the fence," Antonetti said, "trying to bring players in and trying to win a championship."
Entering Tuesday, the Indians sat in second place in the American League Central -- one game behind the Tigers. Given the strength of the league's other two divisions, Cleveland's path to the postseason is not likely to come via a Wild Card spot, but by claiming the division crown.
Antonetti indicated that the Indians are "willing to trade good players" and "willing to take on salary" when it comes to potential trades. The Tribe's GM would not deem prospects such as Drew Pomeranz, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall or Alex White "untouchable," but he did say it would take a compelling deal to pry such talent away.
The Tribe's top prospects are not likely to be dealt in any trade that reels in a player who would only help down the stretch this season before becoming a free agent. If Cleveland is going to part with any core prospects, the acquired player would probably need to be under contractual control for another year or two.
"We try to be as exhaustive and creative as possible," Antonetti said. "It would be difficult for me to see us trading a very select few of our best young players for a player that would only be here for two months."
Antonetti admitted that he would be disappointed if none of his trade talks came to fruition.
"We want to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to get to the postseason and advance in the postseason," Antonetti said. "That said, you have to be mindful of the cost of doing that. I think we are prepared, and have talked about it, to do what we can, what's reasonable, to improve the team."