For the second consecutive season, the Indians controlled the American League Central for the first half of the season. However, they again fell off as the season went along.
At 50-52 and in third place, the Indians now find themselves in an odd position. Do they make a move to contend this season or sell to build for next season?
The team is now 5.5 games back in the division, and the Indians are five games behind the Oakland A's for the final wild card spot. Dayn Perry of CBS Sports ranks Cleveland's remaining schedule as one of the easiest in the American League, so they are a move away from being in great position to make the postseason in 2012.
The Indians do not want to part with any top prospects, but they may be influenced if the right deal comes along.
With holes at first base, third base and in left field, the Indians will look at a handful of players to fill their needs. The pitching staff has been a disappointment this season, and there are still several good pitchers available.
On the other hand, the team has several assets other clubs find attractive. Cleveland needs to decide if they want to make a run at the playoffs this season or clear some salary for the offseason.
Either way, the team will be in position to contend next season.
Stats are from MLB.com