It's just so much window dressing now, those lofty Indians pretensions that the team is still competing for a playoff berth this year. Bet on it: the front office inner sanctum is all but ready to trade ace C.C. Sabathia -- in all likelihood to the Cubs -- and get on with a mini-rebuilding plan.
The loss of starting pitchers Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona to the disabled list -- not to mention the lackluster performances of Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner and others -- have only accelerated the need to deal the Sabathia before the trade deadline in order to receive value for him in his walk year.
While a minority opinion will likely be expressed to re-sign Sabathia, his near $100 million price tag puts him beyond reach.
The Cubs remain the most likely trading partner because that's the team with the most trade bait, most notably young starters Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher and Rich Hill, who are widely believed to have been on the block when the Cubs failed in an attempt to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts from the Orioles