CLEVELAND -- There is nothing to suggest that the Indians will not be buyers in the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The only problem is that the marketplace is currently flooded with teams in a similar position.
With the addition of a second Wild Card into the postseason mix this season, there are more teams -- including Cleveland -- in the hunt for playing in October. The trade market remains undefined, but there is one aspect that is already developing.
"It seems like there will be more teams that are buying than selling," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "And if you have that asymmetry in the market, those teams that are selling players may be able to command a higher return than they have in the past."
The Indians seemingly have clear needs, both in their offense and the rotation. Antonetti is keeping an open mind all fronts as trade discussions begin to pick up. Cleveland could benefit from adding a right-handed power hitter -- especially in the outfield -- or a starting pitcher who offers consistency.
It remains to be seen whether the Indians will pull off a blockbuster move similar to the one they swung with Colorado last July, when a four-player prospect package brought pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland. Even after parting with prized arms Drew Pomeranz and Alex White in that deal, Antonetti believes he still has the pieces to make such a splash.
"I do think we have players within our farm system that other teams like," Antonetti said. "There are obviously places where we can look to improve and upgrade. We'll certainly explore each and every one of those opportunities to do that."
First and foremost, Antonetti is hoping the current roster performs better as the season shifts toward the second half.
"I still think we have confidence in the roster and the guys that are here," Antonetti said. "We have not yet collectively played to our potential. We're in a fortunate position that we're still in a competitive spot in the standings and we haven't played our best baseball."
"I feel we need the guys that are on our roster to maybe produce a little bit better than they have. I think they'd be the first to tell you -- not every player, but a number of guys -- that they haven't produced to their own level of expectations or what we expected."