The Indians finished the season with a rotation that is much less of a question mark than it was at the start, but they began to address it by acquiring RHP Derek Lowe from the Braves. RHPs Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin both won 12 games, and the midseason acquisition of RHP Ubaldo Jimenez gives the Indians a solid top three to their rotation. However, now they must deal with RHP Fausto Carmona being placed on the restricted list. The bullpen was playoff-caliber all year.
ARRIVALS: OF Aaron Cunningham (trade with Padres), INF Jose Lopez (minor league free agent from Marlins), OF Felix Pie (minor league free agent from Orioles), RHP Derek Lowe (trade with Braves), RHP Kevin Slowey (trade with Rockies), RHP Dan Wheeler (minor league free agent from Red Sox), UT Russ Canzler (trade with Rays), 1B Casey Kotchman (free agent from Rays).
DEPARTURES: INF/OF Luis Valbuena (traded to Blue Jays), DH Jim Thome (free agent, signed with Phillies), RHP Chad Durbin (free agent, signed minor league deal with Nationals).
FREE AGENTS: OF Kosuke Fukudome.
Fukudome was a useful player after being a acquired in a trade with the Cubs, but there is no way the budget-conscious Indians will offer him anything close to the $13 million salary he made this year.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: SS Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Indians might try to sign Cabrera, their MVP last year, to a multiyear deal, which would buy him out of his last arbitration year and beyond, although the club has of late shied away from such long-term deals.
--RHP Justin Masterson (arthroscopic left shoulder surgery in October 2011) should be ready for spring training.
--RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) will spend the offseason rehabbing. He is expected to miss the entire 2012 season.
--LF Michael Brantley (right hand surgery in August 2011) will spend the offseason rehabbing after having the hamate bone removed. He should be ready for spring training.
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