Some teams operate on parallel tracks. The Indians seem to be operating on divergent paths.
On one hand, they’re talking about trading players such as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, right fielder Shin-Soo Choo and right-hander Justin Masterson.
On the other hand, they made a $44 million offer for free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino, and are now bidding competitively for infielder Kevin Youkilis and outfielder Nick Swisher, according to major-league sources.
Are they tearing down? Building up? Which is it?
Sort of a combination.
Cabrera, Masterson and closer Chris Perez are two years away from free agency, Choo one. The Indians, a low-revenue club, are trying to thread the needle, and improve the team both short- and long-term.
The way the Indians see it, they have a strong core of pre-arbitration players, including second baseman Jason Kipnis, catcher Carlos Santana and outfielder Michael Brantley; third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and reliever Vinnie Pestano.