Indians general manager Chris Antonetti began the offseason by saying that Matt LaPorta would have to come to spring training and win the first base job. Antonetti made no secret of the fact that in searching for another hitter, he was considering any and all available first basemen below the two marquee free agents, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
That search ended Feb. 3 when Cleveland signed free agent Casey Kotchman to a one-year, 3 million contract. Antonetti said the addition of Kotchman improves the Indians' offense but, of equal importance, enhances the team's defense.
Upgrading the defense, particularly the infield defense, was another priority for the offseason, and with good reason. The Indians' rotation is not filled with high-strikeout pitchers. The staff relies on pitching to contact, which puts a premium on good glove work.
Cleveland's defense was not good last year. Only three American League teams made more than the Indians' 110 errors. Twelve of those errors c...