What Indians should do this offseason
The power outage in our area north of New York City is really no big deal, relative to the devastation in other parts. You throw an extra blanket on the kids at night, relearn to make coffee in the fireplace in the morning, spend the days cleaning up branches and leaves, and you're good to go. They're telling us it may be five or six more days until the electricity is back on, and that's fine. It'll work out. We were very, very fortunate.
But with the cell service also either completely out or sporadic on most days, the information blackout on baseball moves is a much greater frustration -- for a baseball reporter, anyway -- than waiting in line for gas. So we checked into a hotel for a morning, and like a caffeine addict who reaches for a long-awaited cup of coffee, I think my hands were shaking as I got to text and dial and type for the first time since colleague Steve Berthiaume and I drove out of Detroit last week.
Some thoughts looking ahead, and looking back on moves that were made:
Aviles is a useful player, someone you can move around. But his presence could also give the Indians' front office the opportunity to be aggressive this offseason.
Cleveland doesn't have a good farm system in the eyes of rival evaluators, and in particular, the Indians lack quality starting pitching at the big league level and in the minors.
If I were in Chris Antonetti's shoes, as GM of the Indians, I'd take a look at what the Oakland Athletics have done in recent years and follow their example -- and this is what I'd do:
1. Trade shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera
He's set to make $6.5 million in 2013 and then $10 million in 2014, before becoming a free agent. He's an All-Star-caliber player just days away from his 27th birthday, and the Indians could get a nice package of prospects for him -- especially pitching prospects -- in a deal with a team such as the A's, Seattle Mariners Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees (who could use him as an everyday super utility player at third base, shortstop or second base, as they cope with the advancing ages of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and the possible exit of Robinson Cano).
To read Buster's thoughts on offseason moves so far, as well as what the Cleveland Indians should do this offseason, you must be an ESPN Insider.