Meetings could be catalyst for Tribe moves

As clubs gather in Nashville, Indians looking to boost outfield, offense

Meetings could be catalyst for Tribe moves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Indians have done a lot of talking behind the scenes up to this point this offseason. Cleveland has explored the trade front and the free-agent market, searching for ways to upgrade its outfield and address the need for more offense.

The Winter Meetings can often serve as a catalyst for negotiations. Members of the Indians' brass have descended on the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, where Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff will look to gain momentum in talks this week.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2015 Winter Meetings from the Opryland Hotel, with the Network launching 35 hours of live Winter Meetings coverage on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can also catch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, as well as the announcement of the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Committee inductees on Monday at 11 a.m. ET and the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

To date this winter, the Tribe's only Major League moves have been acquiring reliever Kirby Yates from the Rays and outfielder Collin Cowgill from the Angels. The Indians have also added a handful of players (reliever Joba Chamberlain and outfielder Shane Robinson, among others) to the Spring Training fold on Minor League contracts. Cleveland is hardly done tweaking its Major League cast, though.

With left fielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) sidelined into April and potentially May, the Indians are hunting for help in the outfield. Cleveland has also reportedly shown interest in free-agent sluggers Pedro Alvarez and Chris Carter in an efort to add some power to its lineup. Beyond those two areas of need, the Tribe will also be exploring ways to lengthen the depth of its pitching staff.

The Indians' primary strength heading into the 2016 season is their starting rotation, and plenty of rival teams have called hoping to pry one of the Tribe's arms away via trade. Although that is an avenue that could help Cleveland upgrade its offense, the Indians would need to be blown away by an offer to be convinced to part with one of their young, controllable and affordable pitchers.

The Meetings, which run from Monday and end with the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, give all 30 teams a chance to pick up steam in their offseason adjustments. Members of the front offices of the 30 teams, along with managers, coaches, scouts, player development staff, agents and more, will all be under the same roof over the four-day gathering.

Indians.com will have daily coverage of developments on Cleveland's progress in upgrading its roster, along with Antonetti and manager Terry Francona's meetings with the media. Francona is scheduled to sit down with reporters at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

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