Nino Colla | Monday, February 24, 2014 | 2014 Spring Training | Jason Kipnis | Justin Masterson | Michael Brantley | Site Updates | Ubaldo Jimenez
The best way to make it through a long cold winter of no baseball when you operate a blog and write about it on almost-daily basis?
Don't write about it for two months, which is a large majority of that long cold winter...
Monday is the start of the week, so it seemed as good of a time as any. Excuse me friends as I dust off the blog log-in, trying to get in was a little hard. I'm not a fan of spiders (who really is?) and there was a big ole' spider web sticking in the corner of the doorway. I had to find a broom to knock it down. That took enough time.
Three paragraphs and I'm already making up dramatic sequences that are not real for the purposes of, well, I don't really know.
I have been away and look, it has been two months, and a few days, since I've even logged in to pen words, I'm a little rusty, so excuse the ups and downs and if I end up citing something in APA format, try and look past it, that's just grad school talking (Hoynes, 2014, p. I'm just kidding... no one cites Hoynes).
Nino Colla | Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | Carlos Carrasco | David Adams | David Cooper | Free Agent Signings | John Axford | Jose Ramirez | Justin Masterson | Matt Carson | Shaun Marcum | Tyler Cloyd
The calm before the storm was actually the calm within the storm.
Last week, we talked about how that this whole winter meetings thing wasn't the Indians jig to jive to. They're speed is much more what we are seeing this week. It didn't take very long for the winter meetings to end and all the talk to subside for business to pick up.
Because that's how the Indians go about doing their business.
All this talk all week, oh we'll talk about the talking. But not before we talk about the business that has actually gone down in the past few days. Talk is cheap, and it's even cheaper when it's talk about more talk.
[BRING DOWN THE AX]
|Photo - Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports|
There's a lot of great things about John Axford. His name rocks, it's a built-in nickname and moniker for the role of a closer. He's got a fantastic mustache. And while I'm sure there are other things that make him great, those two are the only ones that matter to me.
The Indians were "rumored" and talked about in having interest in signing a reliever with closing experience. There's still a lot of names out there that have closing experience, so there interest could have spread far and wide.
Nino Colla | Monday, December 09, 2013 | 2013 Offseason | Carlos Santana | Free Agency | Lonnie Soloff | Lou Marson | Matt Carson | MLB Matters | Scott Kazmir | Tribe Fest | Winter Meetings | Yan Gomes
Excuse me if I'm not at all impressed by the deals that some teams have been handing out to starting pitchers thus far in the MLB Hot Stove season.
Targets, who in other years the Indians might be interested in at lower prices. Targets, who became pick-ups for other teams because they went ahead and just did a little more than what we've become accustomed to.
Look, I know there is more money out there with TV contracts and rules changes and all the fun jazz that we have as reasons for inflated contracts or teams spending what you are not accustomed to them spending. Are we really surprised when the hottest free agent, this year Robinson Cano, can take in that much money? It sometimes is a surprise in who that free agent signs with; raise your hand if you saw Seattle as the team doing that deal a month ago.
Minnesota has dished out over $70 million over the course of the next four years for two starting pitchers who, at the end of the day, can be big questions marks. Scott Feldman (from across the hall) got a three year deal.
And here ya go... The Oakland Athletics didn't need to go three years to pry Scott Kazmir away from the Indians, they just needed to give him more money. I would have said that Kazmir signed with the Indians if all he got was a two year deal, because I thought that he would win out if there was a similar offer somewhere else, as long as no one went three years. The Athletics just needed to offer too much money for Kazmir to deny and the Indians to match.
Nino Colla | Wednesday, November 27, 2013 | Andy Marte | Bro | Bro Of The Month | Carlos Santana | Corey Kluber | Jason Giambi | Jason Kipnis | Nick Swisher
Ladies and gentlemen, you voted all year. Every month, you elected a new bro, and not once did one guy repeat. There were many nominations, many great performances, but only six different bros.
And so it came down to six individuals, battling out for the greatest bro honor of the year. One of those individuals was not the King Bro himself, Nick Swisher, so it is my humble honor to introduce to you the MC Bro of the Bro of the Year coronation ceremony, Mr. Swish himself...
Nino Colla | Monday, November 25, 2013 | 2013 Offseason | Asdrubal Cabrera | Austin Adams | Carlos Moncrief | Corey Kluber | David Murphy | Free Agent Signings | Jesus Aguilar | Joe Smith | Justin Masterson | Los Angeles Angels | Rule V Draft | Trade Rumors
Following the 2005 season when the Indians made an incredible, yet unexpected push towards the playoffs, there was some clamoring for them to do something to take that next step. An outfielder, a pitcher, some bullpen help, whatever. There were positives, but there were still holes and a reason the Tribe missed out following a 93-win season.
If you remember from the Kazmir piece, the Indians signed Paul Byrd that offseason, they also added Todd Hollandsworth (spell it again), and traded for Jason Michaels. That was the extent of their offseason, because do we really need to mention Coco Crisp was traded to Boston for Andy Marte? During the spring, they traded Brandon Phillips (oh no) and eventually the season spiral led them to trading Bob Wickman, Ben Broussard, and Eduardo Perez.
That of course netted them the duo of Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera for that most successful platoon, which would come into play later, but it also set the stage for a new platoon.
Nino Colla | Wednesday, November 13, 2013 | 2013 Offseason | Carl Pavano | Kevin Millwood | Scott Kazmir
The Indians have been here before. Yet, they haven't quite experienced this before.
They've put themselves in this position before, but they haven't quite had any opportunity to show us what they are made of in regards to the situation.
So with a team that has become increasingly easier to read in how they like to operate over the years, we've now reached a situation where it becomes difficult to understand how Chris Antonetti and company are going to approach this situation.
Now, the whole Terry Francona involvement, as well as that financial windfall from last offseason have definitely augmented the way that the Indians operate in the offseason and has thrown in some new aspects that disrupt the norm. But the underlying principles of this front office remains the same.
Calculated moves, low-risk high-reward signings, trading when the time is right and trading for less-known commodities, the way that this team operates will never change as long as Antonetti is in charge. There's a way that they go about making their moves.
And one way that the Indians have operated in the offseason even back through the Mark Shapiro days has been how they've signed starting pitchers. The last time the Indians signed a starting pitcher to a free agent deal more than one year (Brett Myers and the one year deal with an option aside)?
Are you ready for this?
Nino Colla | Monday, November 11, 2013 | 2013 Offseason | Danny Salazar | Joe Smith | Justin Masterson | Mall Guy | Matt Albers | Roster Moves | Sandy Alomar Jr. | Terry Francona | Ubaldo Jimenez
If you have been a regular reader of mine for a long time, you will probably remember how I used to do offseasons in Cleveland. Or you probably don't. I seriously don't remember vividly. I know I used to do some offseason awards and then some other random things that a younger, less-busier version of myself had the ideas to do.
Here's the deal. I'm one man, one man with graduate school, an assistantship, a part time job, big boy chores that you have when you live on your own, and of course, the good old actual life. The thing is, I have time to sit around here and profile players, get a chart laid out, list targets, all that fun stuff that I used to do.
If anything though, I didn't do it to do it, I did it to keep myself in the know. And that was great. I sat down to get started on some of this stuff and then it hit me.
I don't want to do any of that. I also don't need to do any of that. Because here's the thing about this here offseason with the Cleveland Indians. It is sort of predictable. Yet, the parts that you can't predict are usually the ones that I sit here trying to figure out.