The Cleveland Indians are receiving inquiries on outfielders Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs, but the team's current plan is to retain both players, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. However, Heyman adds that "folks suspect" Stubbs will ultimately be traded.
Heyman reported yesterday that the Indians' signing of free agent Michael Bourn made Stubbs the odd man out. He characterized the 28-year-old as "eminently available," and predicted that a team such as the New York Mets could acquire him before the start of the regular season.
Still, it's been reported that the Bourn signing won't force a trade of Stubbs or Brantley. If no deal is completed, one scenario would have Stubbs and Brantley platooned in the outfield.
Another would see Brantley, Stubbs and Bourn as the regulars in the outfield, shifting Nick Swisher to first base and making Mark Reynolds the team's regular designated hitter. This is the projected alignment mananger Terry Francona currently has laid out.
There could certainly be something to the platoon idea, as Stubbs is right-handed while Brantley hits from the left side. This in and of itself doesn't mean a platoon would work, but Stubbs does have superior numbers against southpaws while Brantley fares better versus right-handers.
Stubbs could also be better suited for a platoon role, considering he hit .213/.277/.333 last season for the Cincinnati Reds. It may be a stretch to enter the season with him as an everyday outfielder, especially considering a move to a corner position is in order with the addition of Bourn.