Cleveland has been interested in adding an outfielder and has been in contact with Shane Victorino, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.
Why this rumor makes sense
Ultimately, the Indians do not necessarily need to invest in an outfielder beyond 2016. The organization has numerous outfield prospects that could be ready as soon as 2017. As a result, Cleveland might just be in pursuit of an outfielder to sign to a one-year deal. Victorino might be the best available candidate.
Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton-type outfielders might be too expensive for the Indians, and even the second tier of free agent outfielders, which includes Gerardo Parra and Denard Span, might not be realistic. The Indians made an offer to Victorino before signing Nick Swisher, and he could be in a position to accept a smaller deal with the hope of receiving a larger one next winter.
Victorino accepted a three-year, $39 million deal to play in Boston heading into the 2013 season is likely not in a position to demand such a deal after a sub-par 2015 campaign.
Victorino could be the ideal candidate to play in Cleveland's outfield for one season before Tyler Naquin and James Ramsey take over in 2017.
Why this rumor does not make sense
While he was with the Red Sox, Victorino only had one truly good year. In 2013, he batted .294 and drove in 61 runs.
Victorino, 35, had back surgery in 2014 and has consistently been plagued by calf and hamstring injuries. He can play all three outfield positions and is a switch-hitter but might not be the most productive available option after batting just .230 and driving in seven runs over 71 contests.
Although the Indians have outfield prospects that might not be major-league ready in 2016, Naquin or Ramsey could benefit from the experience. While Victorino probably would not be too expensive, he might not be that productive, either.
Likeliness overall: 5/10
Victorino is the type of outfielder the Indians have a tendency to express interest in. But they might be better off giving a younger outfield prospect an opportunity.