RHP Kevin Millwood: For the better part of a month, the Indians have been flirting with free agent SP Kevin Millwood. The two sides are said to still be $2M apart in negotiations. Kevin had one of the best years of his career in 2005 and was solid in four seasons with the Rangers. His struggles last season in Baltimore have significantly dropped his value. If the Yankees don't make an offer, I suspect that he will end up in Cleveland. Millwood is a guy who eats up innings and should provide the bullpen a rest once every five days.
RHP Jeremy Bonderman: The former Tiger has spent the majority of his career battling injuries and ineffectiveness. I really don't understand why Chris Antonetti has an interest in him (even if it is for a minor league deal). Like Millwood, Bonderman remains a free agent. I believe that the Indians have internal options that are more attractive than an agin and oft-injured Bonderman.
RHP Josh Tomlin: Should the Indians choose to stay with internal options, Tomlin looks like the favorite heading in to camp. The 26 year old went 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA, including seven shutout innings against the Yankees. He reminds me of Jake Westbrook in his early years and is probably the most most likely to have a successful season.
RHP Jeanmar Gomez: Gomez was the last of the three pitchers to get a late season callup in 2010. Over the final two months of the season Jeanmar posted a 4-5 4.68 mark. Gomez got off to a fast start before falling back to earth in his last few starts. He is three years younger than Tomlin and seems to have better stuff (as opposed to Tomlin's reliance on location).
LHP Aaron Laffey: Laffey has spent the last four seasons bouncing between the roation and bullpen of both the Indians and AAA Columbus. There are some who are concerned by the lack of lefties in the Tribe rotation, putting Laffey in the rotation solves that issue. He's currently pencilled in as the long reliever for the 2011 Indians. Should he make the rotation, the long relief spot will become available. Due to his past issues with arm fatugue, I don't see Laffey as a true option for the rotation.
LHP David Huff: He's a lefty, that's about all he has going for him. Great use of a first round pick. If Huff's 5.84 career ERA starts the season in the rotation, I'm done with this team.
What I would do: If he can be brought in for a good price, I'd give Kevin Millwood a shot. He can eat innings and serve as a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse. However, my gut tells me the Yankees will eventually offer Millwood the contract he wants. If that's the case, I would go with Tomlin as he's the more MLB-ready of the two young righties. Gomez could benefit from another year in AAA to develop as a pitcher.
What the Tribe will do: I think they will go with Tomlin. Millwood will prove to be too expensive and the organization seems to have cooled in its attitude toward Bonderman.