One of the top outfielders on the free-agent market this winter, two-time All-Star Shane Victorino, continues to list the Cleveland Indians as one of his preferred destinations this offseason.
The Indians are now on a short list of just three possible suitors for Victorino's services, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, joining the Boston Red Sox and a third mystery team that has yet to be revealed. With Terry Francona visibly eager to add a speedy run-producer to his outfield, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is indicating that the Indians may very well be the prime suitor for Victorino after the new manager expressed interest much earlier in the offseason.
The 32-year-old Victorino played in 154 games last season for both the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers, and posted his sixth consecutive year with double-digit home runs and at least 15 stolen bases. Despite advancing in age, Victorino's 39 steals in 2012 marked a new career-high and tied for seventh-best in baseball. While his .255 batting average represented a career-low, the veteran's counting numbers have remained strikingly consistent over recent seasons. In addition, Victorino's defensive prowess as a three-time Gold Glove winner would offer an immediate upgrade to Cleveland's outfield.