11/28/07 10:00 AM ET
Indians Winter Meetings checklist
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
2007 finish: 96-66, first place in American League Central, lost to Red Sox in AL Championship SeriesDeals so far: Exercised 2008 options on right-handers Paul Byrd and Joe Borowski and left-hander Aaron Fultz; signed Japanese free-agent right-hander Masahide Kobayashi to a two-year contract
Players eligible for arbitration: Third baseman Casey Blake, right-hander Rafael BetancourtFree agents: Outfielders Kenny Lofton and Trot Nixon, infielder Chris Gomez Needs: A run-producing left fielder. The Indians have several in-house options for the job in David Dellucci, Jason Michaels, Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo, but that doesn't preclude the club from looking for an upgrade via a trade. The only question is what the Indians would have to give up to make that upgrade. Dealing strengths: Starting pitching is high on a lot of teams' list of needs, and it just so happens to be the Indians' greatest area of depth. C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook and Paul Byrd are all expected to pitch in the Tribe's rotation next season, with left-handers Cliff Lee, Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers competing for the fifth spot and top prospect Adam Miller looming.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.