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Indians could spend in free agency

Cleveland's general manager says the team may be "aggressive" in the offseason after coming off a 92-win season.


After a Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2013 playoffs, the Cleveland Indians may be poised to spend in free agency, reports the Akron Beacon Journal.

General manager Chris Antonetti said Monday that he didn't know what his budget would be for 2014, but that team revenue had gone up and he could have money to play with in the offseason.

"I’m confident we’ll have the resources to building a contending team for next year," Antonetti was quoted as saying. "I think we’ll be aggressive."

The Indians spent big last offseason, bringing in outfielders Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn for a total of $104 million. Their first priority this year will likely be to re-sign some of their own free agents, however. Starting pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir will both be free agents, leaving a gaping hole in the team's rotation.

The Indians currently have about $46 million under contract for next season, though that does not include 10 arbitration-eligible players, including Chris Perez, Justin Masterson and Drew Stubbs. Perez could be a non-tender candidate after losing his closer job at the end of the season, and there have been some rumors that Cleveland could attempt to trade shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to save money.

The Indians won 92 games in 2013, just one game behind the Detroit Tigers for first in the AL Central. They did so with an $80.6 million payroll, the team's highest since 2009. Cleveland had the second-worst attendance in the MLB, just ahead of the Rays.

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