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02/15/11 7:09 PM ET

Tribe nears Cabrera deal as pitching talks stall

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are moving closer to officially signing free-agent infielder Orlando Cabrera, but the club's chances of adding a veteran starting pitcher appear to be diminishing by the day.

Cabrera, 36, still needs to pass a physical before the Indians can announce his signing. Barring any issues, Cleveland will likely be ready to confirm the one-year, Major League deal later this week.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti declined to discuss Cabrera specifically.

"I think you guys have accurately reported to date," Antonetti told reporters on Tuesday. "I'll leave it at that."

It is believed that Cabrera would enter camp as the front-runner for the Indians' vacancy at second base. He has captured a pair of Gold Glove Awards as a shortstop, but Cleveland has no plans to move Asdrubal Cabrera from short.

The Indians have also been actively seeking starting pitching help all offseason. Recently, the club had engaged in talks with free agents Jeremy Bonderman and Kevin Millwood. The Bonderman talks stalled -- likely due to the Indians' preference to sign him to a Minor League deal with a spring invite -- and Millwood's asking price has been too steep for the Tribe.

As things currently stand, Cleveland is preparing to move forward with the current starting options in place.

"We're planning to proceed with the group that we have in camp," Antonetti said. "If an opportunity presents itself as we're in camp, we'll certainly look at it. But right now our expectations are that we'll go with the group that we have."

Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot and Carlos Carrasco are the leading candidates for the first four spots in Cleveland's rotation. For the fifth job, the Tribe is considering David Huff, Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, Anthony Reyes and Aaron Laffey, among others.

Indians add Perez, Bere as special assistants

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Five years ago, the Indians traded Eduardo Perez to the Mariners and acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, the Tribe's current shortstop. On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that Perez was returning to the club as a special assistant to baseball operations.

"We came out on top in that one," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said with a laugh.

Former Indians pitcher Jason Bere will also join the team under the same title, and both he and Perez will be in uniform this spring as instructors. Cleveland is also working out the details for the hiring of Kenny Lofton as an outfield and baserunning instructor for Spring Training.

Lofton's on-field duties will likely be limited to Spring Training, but he could have an expanded role with the organization -- assisting with community initiatives, for example -- during the regular season. Perez and Bere will have more of an on-field role during the upcoming campaign for the Tribe.

"He's got a great energy about him and tremendous baseball knowledge," Antonetti said of Perez. "He's enthusiastic and he has a lot to offer both in terms of when on the field in the time he's in camp as well as throughout the course of the regular season as a special assistant. We're excited to have him back in the fold as well as Jason Bere."

Perez, 41, spent time as a player in the Majors for 13 seasons, including a stint with Cleveland during the 2006 campaign. Following his playing career, Perez joined ESPN as a baseball analyst, beginning his sixth season with the network in 2011. Antonetti said Perez will remain in his role with ESPN.

This spring, Perez will help provide instruction at both the Major and Minor League levels. He will also assist the player development department throughout the upcoming season. Bere, 39, will assist the club's pitching coaches for the Major and Minor League staffs this spring.

During the regular season, Bere's main responsibility will be to evaluate and provide instruction to pitchers in the Indians' farm system. Bere served in a similar role as a guest instructor in Spring Training for the Tribe from 2006-09. He also spent 11 seasons as a pitcher in the Majors from 1993-2003, spending parts of the 2000 and '03 tours with the Tribe.

Also on Tuesday, the Indians announced the hiring of Tony Mansolino as a coach for Class A (rookie) Mahoning Valley. Mansolino, 28, will primarily work as a hitting coach on Mahoning Valley manager Dave Wallace's staff. Greg Hibbard will be the hitting coach for Mahoning Valley this season.

Indians announce event and giveaway schedule

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians unveiled their event and giveaway schedule for the upcoming season on Tuesday.

Highlighting the events is a July celebration to honor Indians great and Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who passed away in December at the age of 92. As part of the day's events, all fans in attendance at Progressive Field will receive a bronze statue of Feller.

The Indians will have nine giveaways for all fans, including a magnet schedule on Opening Day (April 1), a Shin-Soo Choo jersey on May 21, T-shirts on June 2, July 7 and Aug. 11, and a Mike Hargrove bobblehead on Aug. 13. The Tribe will also hold 23 kids-themed (age 12 and under) events and giveaways and 17 postgame fireworks shows throughout the season.

Other highlights include two Rock N' Blast shows, Keybank Kids Fun Days complete with plaza activities and postgame running the bases, Puppypalooza on Aug. 23, the Wahoo Women (Ladies Night Out) event on Aug. 9 and Beach Weekend on July 22-24. The Indians will also have six Dollar Dog Nights.

For a complete list of events and giveaways, visit the Promotions page.

Single-game tickets to be available on Feb. 28

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Spring Training has started and so has the countdown to Opening Day. On Tuesday, the Indians announced that single-game tickets for the upcoming home schedule will be available on Feb. 28 beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

This season, nearly half of Progressive Field will see price reductions, with 22 percent of the seats seeing a price drop of $8 or more. Bleacher seats will be offered for $10 and upper reserved seats for $8 all season long.

Season-ticket plans are currently available and the Indians' Six Pack plans go on sale on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. Fans who purchase a Six Pack will receive a seventh game of their choice, including Opening Day.

For more information on ticket pricing and game breakdowns, visit the Seating and Pricing page. Visit the Join the Tribe page for more season-ticket information.

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.