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Smoke signals

• Catcher Yan Gomes' new six-year pact will keep him in an Indians uniform through at least 2019 and potentially through the 2021 season. Cleveland currently has 16 players who are contractually under control through the 2016 campaign.

"A lot of those guys are guys that chose to be here," assistant general manager Mike Chernoff said. "So whether it's [manager Terry Francona], or a guy like Yan, or some of the players last year who signed here, they all want to be here. It's an environment, a culture that people want to be a part of."

• Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera opened each of the past three seasons as the second hitter in the Tribe's lineup. That role belongs to Nick Swisher to open this year. For the Opening Day lineup against the A's, Francona put the switch-hitting Cabrera in the seventh spot of the order.

"Mostly because of balance," Francona said of batting Cabrera seventh. "I hit him first a lot this spring, just because I wanted him to get that extra at-bat. We could've hit him sixth. We could've hit him fifth. I love [Michael] Brantley hitting fifth and I like our balance."

• Francona went with utility man Ryan Raburn at designated hitter Monday. Last year, Raburn hit .272 with 16 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .901 OPS in 87 games (243 at-bats) for the Indians.

"He had the highest OPS of our team last year," Francona said. "People look at him as a role player. I don't know that that necessarily has to be the case. He's got some thump in that bat."

• Inclement weather forced the Indians indoors for Monday's pregame workout. As a result, Jason Giambi (on the 15-day disabled list due to a broken rib) was unable to advance to batting practice on the field. Giambi, who is eligible to be activated Saturday, said he continues to feel good in his recovery.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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