The Indians left the Winter Meetings without landing one of their main targets, but they did acquire a player in the Rule V Draft on Thursday, selecting first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Texas Rangers with the fifth overall pick.
Cleveland also lost two players via the Rule V Draft, with right-hander Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) and left-hander T.J. McFarland (Baltimore) each being selected.
McGuiness, 24, spent all of last season at Double-A Frisco, where he batted .268 with 23 home runs and 77 RBIs in 123 games. He was Boston’s 13th-round draft choice in 2009.
Rondon, 24, was once one of the Indians’ top pitching prospects before reconstructive elbow surgery limited him to 17 appearances over the last three seasons. McFarland, Cleveland’s fourth-round draft pick in 2007, split last season with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, going a combined 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts.
The Indians showed interest in a number of players during the Winter Meetings, offering a four-year, $44 million contract to outfielder Shane Victorino, who chose to sign a three-year, $39 million deal with Boston. Cleveland was also in pursuit of outfielder Jason Bay, who reportedly reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Seattle.
As the Winter Meetings came to an end, the Indians had focused their pursuit on infielder Kevin Youkilis and outfielder Nick Swisher, with Cleveland reportedly offering both contracts. The Yankees offered Youkilis a one-year deal worth $12 million, while the Indians have a two-year deal on the table for the veteran. Swisher is also being pursued by the Mariners among others.
-- Chris Assenheimer