Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• The Indians have had no comment on a report indicating that new manager Terry Francona has an out clause in his four-year contract that can be exercised if certain members of the front office are dismissed.

• Outfielder Shelley Duncan, reliever Dan Wheeler and catcher Luke Carlins -- each of whom spent time with the Indians this year -- have elected free agency. All three were on Triple-A Columbus' roster at the end of the season.

• One of Cleveland's biggest needs this winter is starting pitching. In 2012, the rotation posted a 5.25 ERA, which was the fourth-highest ERA in a season since 1921, according to STATS LLC. The 2012 staff trailed only the 1987 (5.37), 2009 (5.30) and 2001 (5.26) rotations.