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Cleveland Indians

Minor deal in the works?

By Sheldon Published: March 15, 2010

During the winter meetings, the Brewers took left-hander Chuck Lofgren from the Indians in the Rule 5 draft for $50,000.

According to the rules, Milwaukee must keep Lofgren on its 25-man roster for the entire season or offer him back to the Tribe for half of what it paid.

Lofgren has made an impression on Brewers officials in camp, pitching four times, a total of four scoreless innings, and giving up two hits and one walk. However, Milwaukee cannot afford to carry Lofgren on its roster, because he probably is not ready for the big leagues.

Consequently, it is believed the Brewers will try to make a deal with the Indians -- offering a player or cash -- to avoid offering Lofgren back to Cleveland.

But Tribe fans need not get excited. At best, the Indians will receive a fringe prospect or cash.

When the Indians were deciding how to complete the trade for C.C. Sabathia in 2008, they had a choice: Take either promising Milwaukee infielder Taylor Green or promising Brewers outfielder Michael Brantley (Matt LaPorta already was part of the deal).

Eventually, the Tribe took Brantley, which looks like the right choice. Green was injured at Double-A Huntsville most of last season and probably will have to return there this year. Brantley is competing for Cleveland's starting left field spot in training camp.

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