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Winter Meetings Rundown: Day 1

Winter Meetings Rundown: Day 1
December 5, 2011
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Gaby Sanchez (Photo: AP)

The Winter Meetings are underway out in Dallas. Teams are very active talking to other teams about potential trades and also talking to agents about potential signings, and already there have been some notable free agent signings such as Jose Reyes signing with the Miami Marlins early this morning. This first day of activity could lead to a flurry of moves the rest of this week.

Here are some thoughts on some of the players the Indians have either been tied to in free agency or who could be players the Indians target if they become available in a trade.

Free Agents

Josh Willingham: The biggest bang for their buck the Indians can make at first base may be a signing of Willingham. Signing the likes of Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder is a pipe dream, but a guy like Willingham is a small possibility because it looks like he can be had on a more friendly long-term two or three year deal. The risk with him is his injury history and with other teams in the mix for his services the bidding may push the Indians out of their comfort zone to sign him, but if signed he would add some thunder to the lineup from the right side. Also, even though he is a corner outfielder and the Indians feel they are set there (which I think is maddening) there is some thought he could move to first base because he played there some in the minors and it may help keep him healthy. He is a player who could pick up some steam during the Winter Meetings and it will be interesting to see what transpires with him over the next 48-72 hours.

Derrek Lee: I know a lot of fans are going to roll their eyes at this, but he looks like an ideal fit for the Indians. The Indians always like to target free agents on one or two year deals, and he fits a lot of the needs of the team as he can be had on a one year deal. He would provide a veteran presence, defense, power, and financial flexibility at first base, four things they need there while they assess internal options or trade options this season at the position. Even though he is past his prime he has been a productive player and would be a solid addition with little risk to the team past this season. If he is a complementary player he would be a fine addition so long as something else is also brought in along with him. The problem is if the Indians sign him and do nothing else, it will lead to a lot of people being very underwhelmed with the Indians

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

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