Indians could use Meetings to build around core

Indians could use Meetings to build around core

SAN DIEGO -- The Indians are pleased with the roster foundation they have in place, but the reality is that the club took a step backward in the standings last season. With the Winter Meetings underway on Monday morning, Cleveland is continuing its search for ways to build around its promising young core.

Over the next four days, the members of the Indians' front office and staff will gather to participate in baseball's annual Meetings. While there are scheduled seminars and events throughout each day, the yearly event is also an opportunity for the game's decision-makers to meet in person to work on offseason transactions.

The Indians entered this winter with two primary goals: finding an impact bat to join the offense and adding more depth to one of the American League's premier starting rotations. One of those goals was fulfilled early Monday, when the Tribe acquired A's slugger Brandon Moss in exchange for infield prospect Joe Wendle. For the second, the club will surely look to the mid-tier of free-agent starting pitchers.

During the Winter Meetings, Indians.com will provide daily coverage of all the rumors and moves involving the Tribe. Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti will meet with reporters each day in San Diego to address the team's progress, and manager Terry Francona has a sit-down with the media scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

During the Meetings, Indians field coordinator Tom Wiedenbauer will be presented with the Mike Coolbaugh Award, which is given annually to an individual "who has shown outstanding work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field."

The annual Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, and the Indians are slotted in at 19th in the selection order. At the moment, though, Cleveland's 40-man roster is at capacity, meaning the team would need to clear a spot within the next few days in order to be eligible for participation in the Draft.

Beyond the daily coverage on MLB.com and Indians.com, the team's official site will also feature multimedia content to provide a closer look at the happenings at the Meetings. Fans are also encouraged to join the discussions in the comments section included with each article and column to address the various issues facing the ballclub.

The rumors and reports flying throughout the Winter Meetings will undoubtedly throw more fuel on the speculatory fire. Over the next four days, GMs will be meeting behind closed doors, and fans can meet on MLB.com to debate what moves need to be made before Opening Day arrives.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.