With more than three full days until the 2012 MLB Trade Deadline, the Cleveland Indians are still trying to figure out how aggressive they want to be on the trade market. While foes like Detroit and Chicago have already made big splashes of their own to bolster their chances at a pennant, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Indians might follow suit, and are one of four squads actively trying to land San Diego third baseman Chase Headley:
Several sources identify the four teams that are chasing him most aggressively as the A's, Orioles, Pirates and Indians, with other teams hanging around the showroom in case the planets line up right in the next few days.
While Headley's versatility (he can hold his own at most infield positions in addition to corner outfield spots) and slap-hitting tendencies behind the plate would offer a nice addition to the Indians' roster going forward, Stark also warns that Cleveland might be the least likely of the four to actually swing this deal:
Of the four primary bidders, the Pirates and Indians appear less motivated to do this now than they might over the winter. But Oakland and Baltimore haven't backed off, because adding a player such as this, whom they can control now and for two more seasons, is exactly what they're shopping for.
Considering how the Padres appear to be looking for a haul of prospects that may or may not be greater than Headley's actual worth right now, the Indians will need to be careful about getting sucked into a bidding war for what amounts to a .268 career hitter with marginal power. All four of the teams looking at Headley right now are in the mix solely because he's a cheaper alternative than going after a big-name guy who would command a ton. But seeing as how the AL Central is quite literally threatening to run away into the sunset while the Indians sit idly on their hands, it might be vital for Cleveland to make a bold move.