Cleveland likely is not actively pursuing a deal at the moment. However, the fact that the team is listening indicates that it would trade Cabrera for the right kind of package. It may take a lot to pry him from the Indians, however; they fell just one game short of the Tigers for the AL Central lead in 2013 and are hoping to compete once more in 2014. They may not be inclined to trade away their starting shortstop when they still have dreams of a division title.
Still, the Indians have already lost starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to free agency and could lose Ubaldo Jimenez. Trading Cabrera could net them a starting pitcher to replace one of the two in the rotation. Top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer could also begin 2013 as a member of the starting staff.
Trading away Cabrera could also open up some more money to re-sign Jimenez or bring in another free agent. Cabrera has one year left on his contract, valued at $10 million. He has been one of the best hitting shortstops in the majors over the past few years, but hit just .242/.299/.402 with 14 home runs in 2013. Over his career, he has gotten on base at a .335 clip.
Were Cabrera to be traded, Mike Aviles would be the likely bet to fill in for him at shortstop to begin the season. Aviles was a valuable utility player for the Indians in his first year with the team last year, playing every position but catcher, first base and pitcher. He hit .252/.282/.368. While not an outstanding hitter, he would be serviceable if Cleveland thought Cabrera could bring in other valuable pieces.
The Indians also have one of the top prospects in all of baseball coming up the pipeline in shortstop Francisco Lindor. It's unlikely he would be ready to play in the majors next season, however. He reached Double-A Akron for the first time in 2013, but played just 21 games there. Lindor will likely begin 2014 back in Akron with a midseason promotion to Triple-A and a shot at the majors in 2015. Over three MiLB seasons, Lindor has a .279/.364/.377 line and has stolen at least 25 bases each of the past two years.