With Chapman gone, Tribe to look elsewhere

Yankees lefty Miller, Rockies southpaw Logan among trade targets

With Chapman gone, Tribe to look elsewhere

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are in the market for relief help, and they made a push to try to land closer Aroldis Chapman in recent days. On Monday, it was the Cubs who completed a deal with the Yankees to land the hard-throwing lefty.

With Chapman heading to Chicago in exchange for a four-player package -- highlighted by shortstop Gleyber Torres, the Cubs' No. 1-ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com -- that leaves Cleveland still searching for reinforcements for its relief corps. The American League Central-leading Indians have the type of prospect talent it might take to complete an impactful trade or two, and the team hopes to take advantage of its position in the standings.

Now that Chapman is off the board, here are some questions facing the Tribe:

Could the Indians have topped the Cubs' offer?
The reported package heading to New York includes Torres (ranked No. 24 overall on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list), along with Minor League outfielders Billy McKinney (No. 5 in the Cubs' system and No. 75 overall) and Rashad Crawford, and big league right-hander Adam Warren.

Top Prospects: Torres, CHC

Given that Torres was part of the deal, it is fair to assume that one of Cleveland's outfield prospects, Brad Zimmer (No. 1 in the Indians' system and No. 22 overall) or Clint Frazier (No. 2 and No. 23), would have been required to complete a deal for Chapman. New York would likely have then sought at least one more player from the Tribe's Top 10 list. That alone is a high asking price for a rental player. Chicago added two more pieces, too.

Yes, the Indians could have topped that package, considering Cleveland's farm system is viewed by rival teams as one of the deepest pools of talent. The difference between the Cubs and Indians, however, is that Chicago has better resources for making up for future holes in the farm system. The Indians' inability to be a major player in free agency makes developing from within of the utmost importance.

Who could Cleveland target now that Chapman is off the board?
The Yankees have reportedly informed teams that lefty setup man Andrew Miller is not going anywhere, but anything can happen before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland would probably be a little more comfortable giving up a larger package of players for Miller, considering he is under control through 2018. And if the Indians do not like his $9 million salary for '17 and '18, they could try to flip him in the offseason or next July for prospects, recouping some of the talent lost in a potential trade this month.

Miller on Yankees, not closing

One recent report indicated that the Indians balked at the $5 million Chapman was owed for the remainder of this season, but president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, said last week that economics were not expected to be a major obstacle in trades this year. The bigger issue is the cost in terms of prospects.

If Cleveland is not comfortable with the steep asking price for Miller, the team will likely hunt for other relief alternatives. Someone like Rockies lefty Boone Logan, who will be a free agent after this season, would make a lot of sense to explore. Brewers relievers Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress -- both under control through 2018 -- are also options, along with Twins lefty Fernando Abad, who's controllable through '17.

Will the Indians go after more than just relief pitching?
Bullpen help is the biggest area of need at the moment, but the Indians could certainly benefit from adding a bat to lengthen out the lineup, too. It was reported that they inquired about Melvin Upton Jr. roughly a month ago. That makes some sense, considering the uncertainty that still surrounds left fielder Michael Brantley's comeback from a right shoulder issue. If Cleveland added a corner outfielder, it could slide Jose Ramirez to third base.

The Indians have also been linked to Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, though Antonetti has gone on record saying the team is comfortable with its duo of Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez. Part of the issue here is that Yan Gomes (separated right shoulder) could return later this year. And while Gomes has struggled mightily with the bat, he was key for the Tribe's pitching staff and the catcher is signed through 2019 -- with team options for '20 and '21. Lucroy's contract has a $5.25 million team option for '17.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.