The Indians were as busy as anyone this offseason, overhauling their team. They added Terry Francona as manager, and coupled that addition with a slew of free agent signings. Let's take a look at the recent buzz around the team.
Chris Perez could be ready for Opening Day
Closer Chris Perez has a chance to be ready for Opening Day, and he is telling anyone who will listen that his shoulder is at "100%." This would be a big boost for the team psychologically, as although a closer may not always appear to make the biggest impact, the mental effect of having that 9th inning secured can be good for a team.
Keeping Perez on schedule would be extremely beneficial to a team that is looking to try and make a surprise run at the AL Central, as the last thing a team needs is bullpen issues to bog them down. Perez is very confident that he will be ready for Opening Day, but nothing has been set in stone yet.
Indians look to lock up cheap players
It appears as though the Indians are considering extending Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis. Both young players established themselves as valuable everyday regulars for the Indians last year, and keeping them in town for the long haul could be beneficial to the team moving forward.
Cleveland, fortunately, has depth in the minor leagues at the infield spot, so they do have some leverage in negotiations with Kipnis. Brantley, however, is one of the better options they have moving forward, so they will be hard-pressed to sign him.
Matsuzaka accepts option
Former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has accepted an assignment to Triple-A, and will use the stint to work on his all-around game. After struggling in recent times with Boston, he is getting a new chance to try and thrive in Cleveland under his old manager.
He certainly has the stuff to pitch well, but the question with him has always been spotting it and keeping guys off base. If he can work on his command and his efficiency, he could certainly be a valuable asset as rotation depth.