Earlier today, the Indians announced that Michael Brantley had right shoulder surgery, and according to the initial timetable, he's expected to be "ready for game activity in 5-6 months." He originally hurt his shoulder on September 22nd while trying to make a diving catch.
Despite trying a "conservative rehabilitation program, including a return to batting practice...his persistent symptoms led to a second opinion consultation with Dr. Morgan, who recommended today's procedure." While the current estimate for his rehab process makes an April comeback possible, the team doesn't think that it's likely.
Quinlan: Indians "need to be prepared" for Brantley's rehab to linger into April and potentially May. Opening Day is goal, but not likely.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 9, 2015
Going into the offseason, the Indians seemed like a team that might target an outfielder, as Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall are currently the starting center fielder and left fielder according to Cleveland's depth chart. With Brantley's injury, signing an outfielder (or two) might become a priority.
Not only would another outfielder likely represent an upgrade over Almonte and Chisenhall, but he'd also be insurance in case Brantley's rehab takes longer than the five-to-six month estimate. While a player like Yoenis Cespedes is probably out of reach, someone in the tier of Colby Rasmus, Dexter Fowler, or Denard Span could be a viable option.