12.31.2008

Updated: Mark DeRosa to Cleveland for Stevens, two others

Updated, 1:45 PM: We Have a DEAL!

Paul Hoynes gives us the goods..


Jeff Stevens, John Caub and Chris Archer for Mark DeRosa.. DeRosa will play third.

This rocks!

Jeff Stevens is obviously the biggest piece lost here. But look at it this way. Adam Miller, John Meloan and the acquisition of Joe Smith let's us do this. Plus guys like Sipp are around as well. There are still plenty of young bullpen arms to make this deal.

Archer and Gaub are nice young arms, but guys early enough you can part with, because there are way more people higher on the totem pole, older and with more potential.

Fantastic deal for Mark Shapiro and Cleveland. He got himself a third baseman for one year, who can also play second base by the by, without giving anything up that is really big.

Updated Again, 1:33 PM:
Buster Olney jumps in, but no players mentioned.

More as it comes in.

*Updated, 1:20 PM: Tony is coming through for us at Indians Prospect Insider.

Jeff Stevens could be in the deal.. I love Stevens but if he's the "centerpiece" then this is a good deal. If he isn't and an addition to someone like Laffey, still not sure how I'd feel about it.

News still coming in.. But that's the latest. DeRosa for Stevens and two others possibly. Tony Lastoria is HEARING it's a done deal. Again we'll see if Castrovince jumps into the fray here soon.

Happy New Year.

Let's talk about Mark DeRosa, who is all of a sudden, Close to being a Cleveland Indian?

First of all... There is a link in there that mentions the Indians are close to a deal for DeRosa, But there is NO mention of three pitchers being involved.

Here are the two articles that are linked.

-Aaron Miles signs two year deal with the Cubs.
-Cubs acquire versatile middle infielder Miles.

Second if the report is true and we are close to a deal, these three pitchers better not be worth a whole lot.

We are talking about a 34 year old super-utility player that can be a starter.

He's in the last year of his contract.

This is purely speculation at this point. I have not seen anything with Three Pitchers mentioned, so let's go easy before we jump off a cliff. MLBTR says it was a SC report that mentioned the three pitchers.

He's valuable, but these three pitchers better be something along the lines of a few relief prospects and maybe a starting pitcher that has a chance at the Majors, but isn't any special. Aaron Laffey? I don't know.. Sowers? Maybe.. Definitely not Huff, Miller, De La Cruz, or Rondon. I can't imagine Shapiro giving up anyone too special for DeRosa in a four player swap.. Maybe in a straight up Laffey for DeRosa type move.. But even that seems like it's a lot.

So until more comes out.. Let's take this for what it is.. A rumor by a few Chicago sources. I refuse to believe it is "close" until I hear official word from Anthony Castrovince, who's been MONEY all offseason.

Perhaps the Miles acquisition will let the Cubs back in on Peavy. DeRosa was mentioned as a part of the talks earlier. Maybe the Padres don't want DeRosa and the Cubs will use him to get some players to ship to SD.

Who knows. Either way.. DeRosa fits at first glance and I'd be glad to have him.. But let's hold up before we get excited.

I want to stress something in the first linked post... Levine, the guy that writes the blog entry says the Indians COULD BE a match. No mention of the Deal being close. That was from the Chicago Sun Times.

I'll poke my head in if I hear anything new, if not, have a Happy New Year.

12.29.2008

Site Announcements: Name Change and Optimization; Are You Going to treat CC like Crap?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas if that is what you indeed celebrated and for those of you that like Boxing Day, I hope that went according to plan.

It's Monday, so time to get back to the Indians and caring about them. With that I've also made a few decisions over the past week concerning this blog.

Back when I started this thing in February and launched in March or whatever it was, I sort of took my time putting it together, but rushed in deciding on a name. Okay I didn't rush, but I just suck at names. Well I've spent time thinking of a name that I'm happy with and will be making a change.

I'm making the change for a few more reasons other than that though. A) It is way too close to MVN's Tribe Report, B) The word Time is outdated and now stupid, C) The above reason and D) I'm going one step further.

What I mean by one step further is this. You'll notice ads on the site. They aren't for making money.. Well they are, but not for me, I wouldn't ,make much anyway. They are to generate funds for the Sponsorship I bought for Ben Francisco AND a domain name.

Well the ads have generated enough to pay for that and buy a domain name, so here I go. I might even renew Ben's sponsorship come March. I'd like to switch to someone like Jensen Lewis, but the Fantasy Baseball Sherpa seems to think it's cool to buy all the little known Indians I have man-crushes on. FYI I use Rotoworld, :sticks tongue out:.

Yardbarker and Sportsviews will still be around as far as ads go, because they are more than ads, they are communities that help get the word out and that's still a goal. But all the Google ads on the side bar that help slow this site down are going to be removed, which should cut down on the loading time, but not by much. If I ever re-design the blog (and I won't anytime soon, it took me tons of time and I'm very fond of my current layout), I'll try and do something that cuts down on that, but I really like what I have now. The google ads below the posts are gonna stay for awhile because, well, they are in the HTML and I'd rather not toy with HTML right now.

Google didn't actually contribute to the funds that I needed to buy a domain name anyway,

With that.. The change is coming soon... I've decided on the name "The Tribe Daily", catchy I know, and will be making the change in January sometime. You'll love my tagline, I promise.

It's going to take a bit to go through the internet (damn you internet and your wide world-webness) and change the name, and I'll let you know what you have to do, probably change your bookmarks but the old URL should still redirect here for some time.

I like to think the new name is going to represent something that I do that no other blog does and that helps you out daily during the season. I'll get into that more as I make the switch.

Indians related news... There really isn't much because last week was Christmas and I'm sure the Excel spreadsheets were feeling sad and left out of all the Christmas joy.

There is a new Hey Hoynsie out and It brings up a question that I think needs discussed now and will probably be beat to death when the time comes.

How are you going to treat CC Sabathia?

Just because Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez left via Free Agency, a vast majority of fans have booed them. Manny probably deserves it more than Jim does because of the deal the Indians had out there for him. I don't understand the Thome booing.. I'm not his biggest fan now that he is a White Sox, but I certainly don't think he warrants a booing everytime he comes to the plate.. Maybe when he kicks our ass and hits a home run or something, but to great him everytime he comes to the plate makes no sense.

Now just because CC Sabathia was traded, he won't get the Manny-treatment?

Hey guys, CC was gone either way and he was destined for the Yankees with that silly offer. If anything, I'd boo him for declining the Indians offer and deciding he didn't even want to hear another one and broke off talks.

Me... I'm not going to boo.. If I was at the game that CC came back for, i'd give him a standing ovation and then move on and treat him like every other player. Just pitch and if you kill me I'm going to complain what a bastard you are for beating us.

You know it's funny that we take this mentality about booing and not booing depending on how the person leaves.

Omar Vizquel left via free agency, but it was widely known that the Indians let him leave, rather than him making the decision to bolt for more money. For that, the Indians got crucified in a way and to this day still feel the wrath everytime Jhonny Peralta boots a ground-ball.

This is an interesting Q&A..

Hey, Hoynsie: You reported that Kerry Wood's physical lasted about eight hours before the Indians approved his $20.5 million contract. How extensively did the doctors check out Travis Hafner before offering a contract extension several times higher than the Wood contract? -- Bob Kessell, Akron.

Hey, Bob: GM Mark Shapiro started revamping the Indians' medical department several years ago. A driving force behind that movement was to get a clearer picture of a player's medical condition be he a free agent negotiating a deal or player the Indians were considering for a contract extension.

Hafner and Jake Westbrook went through extensive testing before signing their lucrative extensions. Each player came down with a serious injury following those extensions. No system is perfect and no player injury proof.

Put that in your memory banks next time someone fails or passes an Indians physical.

Someone lobbed a softball up for Hoynes to hammer like he usually does with his grouchy response, but he took it easy. I would have totally let him hammer away on this dude in this instance, but he didn't.. Shame on you Hoynes.

Hey, Hoynsie: Why no interest in Mark Teixeira by the Tribe? We haven't had a real first baseman since GM Mark Shapiro and Larry Dolan let Jim Thome go. -- Scott Feldman, Fremont.

Hey, Scott: I hope you were smiling when you wrote this e-mail. I hope you were just trying to get a sarcastic response from me.

It didn't work because I'm still filled with the Christmas spirit and about two gallons of Christmas punch. But I must say this -- I don't think you've been paying attention.

Hoynes was busy over the weekend.

He has this story up about Wedge not "whining" about economics.. Wedge doesn't whine about much, why would he whine about this?

"What I don't like to see are teams or organizations use it as an excuse," said Wedge at the winter baseball meetings. "We sure don't. There's no reason to. We're all at the same level, we're all expected to compete and you either win or lose. That's what we try to do."

Said Wedge: "I don't get caught up in the money part of it. I know where we are with the Cleveland Indians and what we can and can't do."

Surprisngly, Hoynes is actually right. It's easy to not worry about it when you aren't in the AL East. Sure the Tigers threw us for a loop last year with the Miguel Cabrera deal, but look how that worked out and they aren't doing this type of stuff every other year. Still..

I don't know.. We are in the AL Central and we have just as good of a chance as the Tigers, White Sox, and Twins have. That's all I know.

12.23.2008

Happy Holidays

Just a quick Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Jubilee Festival or Whatever it is you celebrate to everyone out there.. I really doubt anything is going to be happening over the next few days, if so I'll be here, but if not, I'll be updating full-go next week...

Almost time to put 2008 behind us... We like the odd years, so maybe 2009 is our shot.

Happy Holidays again to everyone reading and thank you all for your continued support.

-Nino

Oh yeah, the Red Sox are soooooooo getting Mark Teixeira, don't be fooled by any of the nonsense. My tags for this post are quite hilarious. Site Updates, Happy Holidays, and Mark Teixeira...... Interesting.

12.20.2008

A few bits of information: Joe Nelson to round out the pen?

There's been a few pieces of information to squeak out in the past day.

The most interesting is that of Joe Nelson and the very real possibility that the Indians may be the favorites to sign him.

He's 34 and he had his best season (only his fourth, 2nd with more than 3 innings of work) last year with a 2.00 ERA.

He was non-tendered by Florida and it became a Free Agent and is said to have 18 teams interested in his services, while the Indians are one of his top four teams.

Interesting to say the least.. With what we have and what we added, not sure why he's interested in us, but we talked about Will Ohman and how adding another arm would effect the Indians bullpen situation. I wouldn't be against it, but I'd like to see one of the youngsters make some sort of impact at some point in the season.

On to our current players...

Jhonny Peralta injured his hand in winter ball. Ross Atkins says he just jammed his hand on a pitch. He was supposed to play in last night's game so, looks like just a precaution.

We are sending one player to the WBC this spring, that would be Grady Sizemore to the US Team.

Shapiro can't be comfortable because the last time this happened, Rafael Betancourt had issues, which is who he was referring to in his quote, I'll assume. But he supports Grady going for the game.
"As a general manager, you're always concerned when your player isn't playing for you," said GM Mark Shapiro, "but this is good for the game and it's an honor for Grady."
There, I guess, are limits to Carmona and Martinez to compete for the DR and Venezuela respectively, because they spent more than 45 days on the DL last year.. I personally wouldn't let them play because they are key this season, but Shapiro is going to handle it day by day. I got no problem with Grady going, he's a workhorse.

I'm not sure who else will be looked at to play in the WBC.. I do believe that Anthony Castrovince has mentioned that Sal Fasano is on the provisional roster for Italy. Go get em Salvatore. As for anyone on the team currently. Probably oustide Victor, Grady, and Fausto, there aren't many. Cliff Lee maybe, Kobayashi I do not believe was on the Japanese provisional roster, and of course we don't know about Shin-Soo Choo yet.

Minor League Signings: Jesus Mechan and Wilson Valdez... Tony at Prospects Insider thinks this could be a sign that Barfield is on his way out.

From the same link, Tony Sipp did not pitch in the Winter League, he was kept home because of a shoulder issue.

12.19.2008

Welcome to Cleveland, Kerry Wood

Kerry Wood New Indians Reliever








That is all....


On a side note... Did anyone get that uncomfortable feeling watching CC and that stone AJ Burnett getting introduced? I don't know if it's the Indian fan in me, but I'd like to think I'm over it by now.. It just didn't seem right and it all looked forced like alllll the other people did in the past.. "I'm glad to be a Yankee." or "I can't believe I'm a Yankee." Who really wants to be a Yankee anyway?

I didn't get that feeling watching Kerry Wood, who looked genuinely happy to be here and just very cool during his press conference and his interview with Bruce Drennan. Also.. How about Mark Shapiro's face? He was all giddy like he just opened up his new Christmas gift.

12.18.2008

Oh man! Really Man? Wood Presser Today!

You think the Indians are done addressing their bullpen?

I did, until one of my favorite targets popped up on the radar.

Yesterday, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick slipped this little bit of information out about Braves lefty Will Ohman.

The Indians, along with the Mets, inquired in on Ohman, who is looking for a two year deal.

Now, I was on board with signing a guy like Ohman when this offseason started. But now that we have a situational righty added and Kerry Wood, do we bother signing a guy like Ohman?

I mean that would give us one deep bullpen and put everyone at the top in a defined role.

Closer - Kerry Wood
8th Inning - Jensen Lewis
7th Inning - Rafael Perez
6th - Betancourt and Kobayashi rotate
Situationaly Lefty - Ohman
Situationaly Righty - Smith

That's 12 pitchers with the rotation and you'll almost likely carry 13 position players... Which means Jackson is left out of the mix if he doesn't win a rotation spot, and to be honest, I really like Zach as a long man. Don't forget he's also a left handed pitcher.

That would also give us, either way... If we don't sign Ohman..

Adam Miller, Jeff Stevens, Rich Rundles, John Meloan, and Tony Sipp all in Columbus' pen waiting on call in case needed... That is deep.. Five lefties as well.

The thing is Ohman is looking for a two year deal and he'll probably command some coin that the Indians could better use in another position if they have to. They need a infielder and starting pitcher more than they do Will Ohman to be honest.

Either way... It gives us something to talk about. Also note that I'm taking Ed Mujica out of the mix because I hate him. : )

Let me address the idea some Baltimore preson threw out about Ryan Garko.

Unless Baltimore is willing to part with Brian Roberts (let's not get into that though, please), there is nothing that the O's have that we could possibly want on the Infield. I love Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora is listed as one of the targets, but I just don't think there is a match with Baltimore.

There is a new mailbag up at Indians.com and it has been since Monday night. I'm not going to go over it. I will say this about Valbuena though.

All these whacky platoons make no sense. Jamey Carroll is a utility infielder and he needs to be used that way. Now if he's playing a little less than the amount he played last year, I'm fine with that. But the guy he's sharing time with better be worth it.

Want to watch the Kerry Wood press conference? You can do so at 2:00 PM today.. On Indians.com or at the Plain Dealer site. I do believe STO will cover it, either live at 2 or a replay on All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan at three. I also think Drennan will be doing an interview with Wood, but I'm not positive on that one, I haven't watched much of the show this week.

Minor League Stuff.. the Scrappers unveiled their new logo and will debut new Jerseys at a later date, while Columbus has given the first peak at their new threads.

Carneggie44115 with the tip at the Prospect boards.

I like the Hat and I'm a huge hat collector so that's gonna be up on the list, maybe the red one too. But it's cool that they incorperated the red into their new uniforms with the Indians on board and everything.

The Bisons did the red and it just didn't look right. Speaking of, the Bisons introduced their new logo and well.. Uh.. They still spell it Bisons? You'd think they would have noticed that the plural is Bison not Bisons.. Cleveland's version had Bisons as well but.. I was hoping they'd fix that issue... Oh well.

It is way cooler than what we had with Buffalo, so kudos to them for that.

Latest Winter League Round-Up. Carmona didn't walk anyone in his last game that lasted Five Innings Plus.

Grady Sizemore, Ben Francisco, Kelly Shoppach, and the dynamic duo who need to be there, Ryan Garko and Josh Barfield, the BFF's, whatever, have been breaking in the new complex at Arizona.

Grizzle says it's state of the art and Garko says it's more organized and that he feels better going into the season. Both of those guys have homes in Arizona, so like Wood, it's a nice thing for the Tribe to have this new complex where it is.

Personally. I'm glad these guys, Garko and Barfield particularly, are working out there as early as they are. Hafner is probably going to get down there in January, but right now he's scheduled to do some swinging and has been working out at Progressive Field (let's remember the big lug lives in Cleveland now), soon.

It's a great thing overall.. I'm not sure why so many people were up in arms about this when it first happened. To have their own place, where they can house minor leaguers and for 12 months, year-round keep an eye on players and work with them longer than the season, it's fantastic and a big advantage.

Remember.. Kerry Wood Presser Today.. I'll be watching..

12.15.2008

All goes according to plan

Some stuff has happened since we last spoke.

Let's start off with the news that got overshadowed after the Indians made that trade.

The Kerry Wood Deal is finally official and we have our closer.

We've now found out that Kerry Wood was the first option for the Indians in their search for a closer. Why?

"We get the best of both worlds with Kerry," general manager Mark Shapiro said.
The best of both worlds that Shapiro is talking about is not that Hannah Montana song, but rather leadership and the hard thrower from the closers spot. I'm now ashamed of myself for knowing A) Who Hannah Montana is and B) Knowing the name of one of her songs. That little girl is poison, I forbid you to let your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, cousins, whatever watch her.

Anyway...

I love his sense of humor.

"My only concern was that they'd need a dolly or two to get [the medical report] over to them. It's pretty thick."
Great to hear he can make light of something people have ragged on him for in the past. That's why he's a closer.

Believe it or not, the Arizona Complex was not a reason Wood signed with us, but rather a bonus. Here is Kerry's encouraging quote about why he signed with Cleveland.

"They came at me hard from Day 1," Wood said. "That was something I looked at. I looked at the records of the teams, and they had one of the best records in the second half. The talent is there, and it's a great city and town with solid fans and a beautiful stadium."
If Kerry enjoys his time here, and is really happy with his decision, who knows what good that will do for the Indians in the future in terms of signing guys. Will they make many big time free agent signings? No, but maybe it could help get us some attention in terms of signing some people at prices we can afford.

Speaking of affording free agents, the Indians would hope newly named Free Agent Ty Wigginton is in their price range.

The problem is... Now that he's a free agent, Wigginton has shot to the top of the third baseman pool.

The Twins are probably going to be one of his suitors, especially after losing out on Casey Blake.

Never fear, the Indians are in on Wigginton along with... Pittsburgh and San Francisco. A Twins source adds Cincinnati but that would mean moving him to a new position or trading Encarnacion, one of the targets on our chart if he becomes available through trade.

I like our chances of signing him over those two teams. It comes down to the Indians and Twins if you ask me.

The problem is, how much is this guy going to want and how long of a contract will he command?

Given the fact that there is no big time free agent at third base, he is in a great situation. But again the economy is effecting the way team's deal. That along with the fact that the Indians have made their big splash and don't plan on signing another big money free agent.

MLBTR speculates it would take at least two, but Casey Blake's deal is a little bit high for Wigginton.

One other option for the Indians was JJ Putz, who they were involved with in the deal, but that was after they got Kerry Wood.

Reportedly, Seattle wanted Gutierrez, who they got, and one of the Indians Top 5 Prospects in exchange for Putz.

Seattle's wanting Gutierrez, and the Indians interest in Joe Smith pulled them into this Putz though.

Minaya, a frequent phone partner with Shapiro, was well aware of the Indians' interest in Mets right-hander Joe Smith. He told Shapiro that he'd put Smith into the deal if he agreed to send Gutierrez to Seattle.

And finally, in-house news here..

As you may have expected by my lack of update, no one major got selected in the Rule V Draft.. Thankfully...

Carlos Arias was selected by the Royals and Rafael Quintero was selected by the Pirates.

Arias was in one of the summer leagues and I'm not even sure where Quintero was. Neither are huge loses. The biggest thing is Chuck Lofgren and Jordan Brown are with the Indians this year.

And of course.. Because Wigginton was not tendered, he became a Free Agent. Kelly Shoppach had the same opportunity, but the Indians tendered him. He can accept or take it to arbitration. As we know though, the Indians haven't gone to arbitration since 1991, so expect a deal to get done.

All the pre-arb players all got offered tenders as well. That stuff won't get done for awhile.

Offseason Chart and 40 Man Updated.. Looking to confirm Valbuena and Smith's specifics, I'll just wait on their salaries until they are available for this next year. I'm pretty sure what I have there in terms of Arb and Options is correct.. Smith has one full year and most of 2007 in the major leagues, so he's pretty much not going to be Arb eligible until after 2010, I'm not positive there though.

12.11.2008

I had a night to sleep on it, and no I'm still not a fan

"Gutierrez is the player that made this deal happen," Zduriencik said. "[Mets GM] Omar [Minaya] and I had a discussion late today, and I told him I had to get a center fielder in one of these deals and the guy I really want is in Cleveland."

As it turned out, the Mets and Indians also had been talking trade.

"Omar called me back a half-hour later and told me we could get the guy I wanted."


Yeah.... That's what Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik had to say about this deal...

There's potential there and I'm going to continue to scream about it. We gave up on Gutierrez too soon.

When you sit here and watch the Cleveland Indians, 162 games a year like we all do, you start to undervalue a player like Gutierrez.. You magnify his struggles and you start to say, this guy sucks, no one wants him.

Wrong.

I maintain my position on this. Franklin Gutiererz is the best all around defensive outfielder on this team. That's not a slight at Grady Sizemore, but rather a statement at just how good Grady is. He doesn't have the arm that Gutierrez does and I don't think he has AS MUCH god-given talent to go get the baseball at every single spot on the outfielder as Gutierrez does.

You can print this post out and save it, or bookmark it or whatever if you think I'm wrong. I truly believe that we made a mistake in getting rid of Gutierrez at this point. Not just getting rid of him, but for what we got and the situation we are in.

I'm not excited about Joe Smith or Luis Valbuena. I'm just not. They may turn out to be fine players... That's great.. But why would a team like Seattle trade a youngster like Valbuena, when their goal is to get as much young talent as possible?

All the players they gave up, aside from Valbuena, were washed up prospects or valuable major league pieces that another team can use.

JJ Putz: Obvious

Jeremy Reed: I mean, come on now, he was just a failure there in Seattle.

Sean Green: Again.. He's just another arm..

And then we get to Valbuena.

There is only a few reasons I can think of them giving him up.

A) Jose Lopez is their second baseman.. However they were considering moving him to first and letting this kid start at second next year.

B) He's not as good as he appears to be.

C) They REALLY like Franklin Gutierrez.

I'm going to go with C and a little bit of B.

One team's trash is another team's treasure.

I think we are going to regret this... If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.. You can throw all sorts of stats at me.. If you read this blog often, you'll know that I'm kinda half-and-half when it comes to statistics. I go with what I see and If I need stats to aid my argument, I'll use them.

But when I watch Franklin Gutierrez.. I don't see an All-Star, but I see a major league outifelder.

Better all around than Ben Francisco and way too valuable to be traded for a situational righty and a second baseman, that MIGHT pan out.

MIGHT?

We have one of those.. His name is Josh Barfield and he's already shown he can do it at the Major League level. We don't need two second baseman that MIGHT pan out, we need one.

Like I said.. There needs to be more moves for this trade to make sense.. But I still am not a fan of it and think we were wrong to give up on Gutierrez this quickly.

Understand what I'm saying.. I'll be fine with the move organizationally if we make more moves to iron out everything. But I'm not fine with it in respect to giving up on Gutierrez. If that makes any sense.

Let's move on from this...

Here is what Mark Shapiro had to say on the deal.

Today is the Rule 5 Draft so we could probably lose another player.. Damnit..

Tony Lastoria doesn't think we will though.. Chuck Lofgren and Jordan Brown are probably the two most likely candidates. Lastoria got a little consensus from other organizations about the Indians list of players and it might not be as good as thought.

Again..

How do we know about people we don't see?

That's all I've got for now.. Kerry Wood is set to take his physical today, so remember that. Let's hope all goes well..

By the by.. CC for 161 million? Ya.. Good luck with that NY.

12.10.2008

Gutierrez on his way to Seattle; Indians Will Receive Two Youngsters

The shock of this trade is still not wearing off and I was hoping that it wasn't going to be true.

But it looks like it's going to get done.

Thankfully.. The Indians aren't getting Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez or first baseman Mike Carp.

The deal breaks down as this.

Mets Get: RP JJ Putz, OF Jeremy Reed, RP Sean Green
Mariners Get: OF Franklin Gutierrez, OF Endy Chavez, RP Aaron Heilman, 1B Mike Carp
Indians Get: 2B Luis Valbuena (Mariners), RP Joe Smith (Mets)

Really.. I'm stoked we got another arm for the bullpen.............

That was sarcasm...

I mean.. Valbuena is a very young second baseman.. He'll be 23 through next season and Joe Smith will turn 25 in March.

I mean great.. some young talent.

But at what expense?

This isn't that infielder.. I hope to god this is not that infielder.

If Mark Shapiro is crazy enough to throw Andy Marte, Jamey Carroll, Josh Barfield, and this 23 year old Luis Valbuena in spring training, with maybe a few ST invites and hope one of them sticks at either 2nd or 3rd.

I will wring his neck.

This smells bad..

I'm not saying this because I love Franklin Gutierrez either.

Does anyone know that this basically says

Okay Ben Francisco.. Okay Shin-Soo Choo.. You are our outfielders.

Okay David Dellucci.. You are our fourth outfielder.

WHAT?!

The guy can't play defense.. He has no speed and this is the guy we have coming off the bench?

That is complete insanity.

Mark Shapiro better have something else up his sleeve.. And when I mean something else.. I mean corresponding moves and at least a viable infield option..

Another arm for the bullpen?!

WHY?

Meloan, Miller, Stevens, that waste of garbage Mujica, now Smith. It's great to have depth..

But at the expense of our fourth outfielder.

Brantley or Crowe better be ready and ready quickly.

Because this smells bad to me at first glance. I'll feel better if there are more moves in store..

But on the surface, I'm worried about what this means.

Official now at 11:35..

Goodbye Frankie :( :( :( :(

NO NO NO NO NO!!! NO NO!!! NO!!! NOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

NO NO NO NO

ITS NOT TRUE

ITS NOT TRUE!!

I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT..

Franklin Gutierrez Traded in Three-Way Deal


ARE YOU KIDDING ME TUNA?!

This sucks..

If you guys aren't familiar with this blog..

I've got man-love for Franklin Gutierrez.

This is going to be bad if the reception is Endy Chavez.

someone will pay..


EDIT: 9:12 PM ET..

It seems as if the Rosenthal report was rather ambitious and its not close, but its in the works... I'm breathing easier but..

SHAPIRO DON'T DO IT MAN! YOU'LL BREAK MY HEART!

Kerry Wood to the Tribe is Imminent



Welcome to Cleveland...

Kerry Wood!

The Indians have signed off on the medical reports.

Step one completed.

And the Detroit Tigers?

No thanks says Kerry!

Winner.....

We've got Wood!

Don't take that for any other double meaning please.

The signing is expected to be announced sometime today. Probably while I'm taking my test.. So let me just say how much I love this right now.

If it's what I've read from the likes of Steve Phillips and these other articles.

2 Year Deal, about 12-14 million? With a third year option.

That's awesome sir.

Castrovince provides four rather good reasons that Wood decided to sign with the Indians.

1. The Economy.. Duh.. I've been saying this.. K-Rod really played this wrong. He would have been smart to take his arbitration offer and try again next year. There are too many closers, not enough need, and an economy in flux.

2. We can never go back to Arizona! I can't find a youtube link but just trust me on that quote... Anyway, Kerry is from Arizona. The new complex for the Indians spring training and off-season is in Arizona. Hey noowwwww...

3. Jason Bere? Former Indians pitcher is now in the front office and he and Wood are friends.. Okay? That's awesome.

4. Medical Reasons? Okay that's awesome as well.

I don't really care why Kerry Wood decided to sign here.

I just care that he did!

Party Time!

As AC says, we don't really sign big name free agents at all. Will this win us a World Series? No it won't do it by itself, but it's a huge step for this team.

You need to take a few risks if you want to win a World Series. The Phillies showed us that and I totally support this risk.

12.09.2008

Tribe Close With Wood but Won't Be Done Today

Well they are close and probably as close as they were earlier.

But it won't happen today. They need to do a physical and all that jazz.

Anthony Castrovince is "cautiously optimistic" that the Indians and Kerry Wood are a match.

But as Paul Hoynes reports.. You either have a deal or you don't... Or that could just be the typical GM spin.
"There is no close. You either have a deal or you don't," said Chris Antonetti, the Indians' assistant general manager, when asked if they were close to doing a deal with Wood."
Yeah.. Trevor Hoffman and the Indians were close a few years ago. So I understand that.

Peter Gammons says.. The Indians are talking to alternatives... Because they are far enough apart to do so.

Hmmmmmmm.

The AP Says.. This... According to a source close to the deal.
The club has offered free agent Kerry Wood, the former Chicago Cubs starter-turned-reliever, a two-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the sides are still working through details at the winter meetings in Las Vegas.
Let's talk about something else while I have it.

Indians Prospect Insider forums offered up a nice un-found bit of news.

Brian Slocum is a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Official Word.

Anyway.. Later Smoke-EM Slocum!

Tom Mastny...... Let's tie this up

Mastny was on All Bets Are Off and he sounded great.

He is excited about his new opportunity. They contacted him, he pursued it and the Indians granted him the chance.

He'll be a starter on a one year deal with an option for a second. Great for him as a starter. It will be a Masa type thing with the driver and the interpreter. Awesome for him really it is.

Moving on to more stuff from the show.

Buck Martinez was just on and he brought up Adrian Beltre as a NAME.. Not a possibility but a guy out there if something doesn't happen with the Indians.

They might have to get creative and do something with Seattle in terms of giving up more prospects to pay some of his deal, but I'm sure if Seattle could unload him, they would.

I'm not sure if that sounds like a good idea given his contract and what we'd have to give up, but the name is certainly better than what we have.

Martinez echoed what Shapiro said about the Economy.

Moving on to Eric Wedge.

Wedge had some interesting comments.

Matty asked about Josh Barfield and if the possibility was there for him to start the year at 2nd Base and then shift everyone over.

It's a possibility by the way.. Just not one the Indians would feel comfortable about.

Wedge kind of just shrugged it off and said Barfield showed stuff that make them optimistic about him, but he brought up Cabrera can play third and then that name.. Jamey Carroll.

So.. Yeah...

Wedge is unsure of the Shoppach/Martinez situation, but he brought up Ryan Garko and felt that Shoppach would play a lot more and Martinez would play more first.

However.. Wedge feels we will make a move for an infielder. Big or small, someone will be brought in to at least compete is what I get the feeling.

Second to last.. Wedge said he'd be surprised if something got done with a starting pitcher before the first of the year and also added that it is going to be tough to fill all three needs.

Lastly from Wedge, which throws us into this article.

Travis Hafner should be ready Day 1 of Spring Training.

And According to Lonnie Soloff..

He's lost some weight sir!

Want to be the judge?

He'll be on All Bets Are Off on STO tomorrow at 4:45.

Awesome..

I really hope this helps him not just this year but extend his career. His elbow is fixed, he's getting in better shape.. He's a bigger man so it's not like he's out of shape or anything, he's just getting in better shape.
"I'll let you make up your mind when you see him," said Soloff, attending the winter meetings at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. "He realizes that this is his No.1 off-season priority to get his career back on track."
That's all today....

Hopefully tomorrow we have news on Kerry Wood being official.

Kerry Wood............ A Cleveland Indian?

You Betcha...

It turns out that Kerry Wood and the Cleveland Indians are close to an agreement that would make Wood the Closer of the Cleveland Indians.

I'm feeling really good about this at first thought.

Why?

TWO YEAR DEAL!

Money is unknown.. But it's expected to be a two year deal with a third option year(unknown right now).

Castrovince says it's gaining momentum and I'm sure Matt Underwood will have more on ABAO today.

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Anyway.

Casey Blake is officially gone. Casey signed a three year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Great for him, I'm really happy for Casey to get that.. I just didn't want it to be with us.

The Dodgers also signed Mark Loretta, so there goes one of our cheap 3B options.

Tribe ready to jump in when K-Rod gets Signed

Whoa let's sort through all of this.

Let's start off with the crazy and ridiculous rumor about Miguel Tejada.

False in every way shape or form, I would have been able to tell you that the minute I heard it.. I mean really? An aging shortstop with a out of our range contract that probably can't be had unless you give up something decent?

Anthony Castrovince flat out asked Shapiro and all he did was shake his head. I would have done the same.

This started from something about the Twins being interested, by all means go ahead. Then Yahoo's Jeff Passan jumped in with the Indians.

Strangely enough, the Twins assistant GM also had a facial reaction to the Tejada rumors.

I really feel for these GM's at this time, when all these nonsense rumors are floated around and they have to answer to them. NOW, some rumors out there are true but they downplay, but you can tell this was bogus from the start.

Next... Kerry Wood and JJ Putz.

It wouldn't surprise me if one was pitching for the Tigers and the other was pitching for the Indians.

Or if one landed with one team.

It looks like the Tigers are interested in both.

So are we...

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Indians are interested in Putz and they met with Kerry Wood's agent yesterday.

Next... Brian Fuentes..

Now I told you yesterday that K-Rod controls this market..

The Indians hope the Mets sign K-Rod and do it soon, because they can swoop in. Also because Plan C and D are Trevor Hoffman and Kerry Wood and that's pretty much the Indians Plan A and B, or tied with other guys there. In other words, the Mets are the only ones that can pay K-Rod, if the Mets overpay for a guy like Hoffman or Wood, that really sucks for the Indians.

But.. along with the fact that they hope K-Rod signs.. That leaves Brian Fuentes out there and really no one to take him. So he could come at a cheap price.

The problem is this.

Hes still going to want at least three years. Something that the Indians don't want to do and something I'm fairly positive won't happen, even if he comes cheaper.

Either way.. Francisco Rodriguez is rather close to signing a three year, 34 million dollar contract with the New York Mets.

If that happens today.. Expect us to be the top team out there trying to get something going with Hoffman, Wood, maybe Fuentes and probably kick the tires on JJ Putz..

I'm willing to say that our closer in 2009 will be one of those four and only one of those four. Or Jensen Lewis, but I think one of those guys will be a Cleveland Indian. The Indians are supposed to meet with both Fuentes and Hoffman at some point. Probably once K-Rod signs, I would guess.

Jose Valverde is not getting traded, FYI.

Chad Cordero is going to talk to five teams. The Indians are not one of them, boo :(

So switching to starting pitching... That seems to be the most important need (according to Shapiro, more on that later) but it's last on the things to do. So I've made it aware that the possibility of signing a Freddy Garcia type is possible.

Well here is a Freddy Garcia type and the Indians are interested.

Kris Benson

Ahhhgg.. Not quite...

Anyway, Castrovince met with Shapiro and Shapiro also did a thing with Matt Underwood on STO yesterday.

I'll get to that in a second, but from this link. Rafael Furcal IS an option but not at the 4 years, 12 million per he is searching for. The A's offered him a THREE YEAR deal, not four. Which means I don't think he's a realistic option, even though he is an option.
"The basic theme that came out of today's session with Shapiro is that the Indians only have the financial resources to add one "impact" player at either closer, infielder or in the starting rotation. They can certainly fill those three spots, but it's likely that only one of the acquisitions will be of the true, impact variety. And right now, it's quite clear the Tribe's priority in the impact department is at closer -- a position that, as I wrote earlier, likely won't be filled until the Mets knock down the first free-agent domino."
That's what I heard from Shapiro in his interview with Matt Underwood yesterday as well.

Underwood said he didn't think anything official would happen this week. But as we know, Underwood is kinda on the slow when it comes to this type of stuff.

Matty confirmed Seattle is willing to trade JJ Putz.

Underwood THINKS Fuentes and K-Rod are not realistic possibilities because of contract length and dollar amount.

I told you... But again, that's Underwood.. Plus remember Fuentes' price could come down, we think.. Remember K-Rod was seeking five years, around 50 million, he's settling for 3 years around 30 million.. Fuentes wants 3 years, 30 million.. around that... If K-Rod signs for that 3 year deal, Fuentes loses bargaining power.

Underwood THINKS the Indians haved talked to Kerry Wood's representatives. He thinks.. We know.. Hoynes confirms what Rosenthal said.

As evidence from what Mark Shapiro said... The Indians will only make ONE free agent signing that is described as... "One Sizeable Promionent Free Agent" that will make an impact. It would be expected that it at the position of closer, since they are spending all their time there.

To me.. It make sense because of all the closers out there. But it doesn't in a sense because it's the least pressing of our needs and easiest bandagable with a few arms that don't cost much.

Either way.. At least we are doing something.

Jhonny Peralta moving.. Shaprio is NOT "Married" to the idea of it. It's unlikely, but Peralta is doing a good job and becoming more comfortable there in Winter League.

Non-Indians related.. Shapiro says the economy is definitely impacting the way teams operate and that you'd have to have your head in the sand if you didn't believe it the way the economy is. He also says it's effecting the way the Indians are operating, especially being in Cleveland.

He also said there is a lack of "real impact" players beyond the first four or five guys.

Antoher thing. Bruce Drennan asked about Brian Roberts. The guy just won't let it go. Underwood basically shot him down.

IT'S NOT HAPPENING BRUCEY! LET IT GO.

Casey Blake's book is going to close soon. He and the Dodgers are near a deal, with the three yearas he wants, for him to return to LA.

Oh, the selling of Tom Mastny is official. It came down to a "guarentee" for Mastny. I don't blame him, and I actually praise him. Thanks Tom, have fun striking out Yen Man.

Much heat on Josh Barfield for not going to Winter League..
"He told me he didn't want to take any chances with the finger," Wedge said. "We understand that he wanted to be 100 percent coming to spring training. We understand that."
I really hope Wedge isn't being a jerk about this...

and finally.. We can't forget.

Congrats to former Indian Joe Gordon for being elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans committee.

Gordon passed in 1978 and was inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame posthumously with Mike Hargrove. He played with the Indians from 47 to 50, winning a title with Cleveland but he'll most likely go in as a Yankee, where he played most of his career.

Bob Feller was happy about the selection and described "Flash" as an acrobat.

That's about all I've got for now.. This could potentially be a busy day, so I'll be sure to check in.

12.08.2008

Pronkta Claus has brought us an early present: Tom Mastny Traded.... TO JAPAN!

Boosh!

It looks like the Indians have cleared up another spot on their roster in preparation for the winter meetings this week.

That's right!

Tom Mastny has been traded!

Or Sold.

However you want to look at getting sent to Japan is.

Tom Mastny is now a Yokozuna.... Yokohama whatever, BayStar.

I even have a Japanese Source!

I now present to you the English translation.
*Yokohama, U.S. major league baseball, Indian-Tom-mass pitcher Tony(27) to acquire aim is the found. convert its agreement with the perspective. Principle already contract reached an agreement with blue Jay's les Wol Ronde pitcher, 32 follow the reinforced.

Mass Tony height 198 cm large-scale of the right arm and the angle of the fast ball and control of the ball to power weapon advocates finesse. National highest paid to record 28 billion yen man's New York Yankees Rodriguez for the past four bat against the vibration small robbed skills by the owners. Major competition at scored nine wins and five losses and defense rate June, 13 to mark. The Season two wins was stopped last year with seven wins two losses listed to the age-in period and may well.

From bottom make the aim of Yokohama Miura, original Temple to follow as starter expectations. "Power pitcher-, The three Jin well images can be caught. Advance as well as a reliever also lowered tasked." And team officials. We will continue the club and advance the pitcher reinforced top priority to further research to push forward.

Tom mass Tony (Tom Mastny) 1981Year February 4, born in Indonesia. 27. Firman from large 03 draft 11 round, Blue Jay's who. 04 years off an Indian-transfer. 06 year first major promoted plays to the major scored 80 match to pitch in the exhibition nine wins and five losses and defense rate June, 13 . One hundred ninety-eight centimeters, 99 miles. throws right right shot*
The honorable Tom Mass Tony... We will miss you.. Good luck in Japan as a power pitcher striking out the 28 billion yen man as a lowered task.

:bows:

Now can they take on Eddie Mujica as well?

Pronkta Claus, I love you.

I truly think its a sign that story appeared right around the time Mastny was dealt.. I don't hate Nasty Mastny, I hate the fact that I can't say that name anymore. But we need to moooooooove on.

I might go down to Strongsville and that mall..

Nah I'll get lost.

But.. If Pronk is in a Santa suit..

Ho Ho Ho.. Sounds like a Photoshop picture.

Oh yeah Aaron Laffey will be there too. He will be dressed as the Joker.

ITS MONDAY!

That means the flurries are going to start.

It's already kicking up.

We need to keep our eyes on the Mets.. They control this market for closers.

When K-Rod falls, the rest of the market will start to take shape and let's hope the Mets do that.

They are scheduled to meet with our prize Trevor Hoffman. They met with K-Rod last night for like the whole night.

Surprisingly to me at least, Rafael Furcal turned down the Oakland offer. Which now I guess somehow puts us in the race for the shortstop.

Look.. Furcal can be one of the best at shortstop, especially defensively, when he's healthy..

The key word is when...

I'd love to have him, but not at four years, investing money, and risking the fact he could go down at any time.

J.D. Martin has been lost.. Yet another Indians' minor leaguer has signed with the Washington Nationals. This one actually hurts a little bit. J.D. was a first round pick a few years ago. He has talent. He just got some bad luck with Injuries and mis-use.

Oh well...

New Hey Hoynsie..

Interesting question.

Hey, Hoynsie: This year we saw how dominant Paul Byrd can be at times. With all the question marks the Indians have in the rotation, don't you think it would be reckless not to try and re-sign Byrd? -- Matt Stegmeier, Middleburg Heights

Hey, Matt: Boston offered Byrd arbitration. He has until today to accept. If he does, he's bound to them for at least one year.

The Indians definitely want to add a veteran starting pitcher, but I don't think that's going to be until January or February. If Byrd is still available then, they might talk, but I sense the Indians moving in another direction.

He was not offered arb, so he's out there. Like Hoynes, I can't see us doing anything with him at all. I just think that Shapiro realizes we need something new to win and going back to Casey Blake and Paul Byrd isn't the answer.

Let's also rule out Randy Johnson. Hoynes says the Big Unit has no desire to pitch in Cleveland.. Darn.

Winter League Round-Up.

Anyway.. This is the time.. It's winter meetings and that's what this sport needs to get going here...
"Whenever you get the teams and agents all in one place," Shapiro said last week, "that eases contact and some of those competitive emotions start flowing. Things tend to happen."
Also, Hoynes has a Winter Meetings preview up.

12.05.2008

SAVIOR! Indians Sign Tomo Ohka!

YES YES YES YES!

STARTING PITCHER

YES!!

WE GOT ONE.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhkay!

Tomo Ohka.... Never Mind..

I mean look at this guy.. Cookie Jarvis..

Fear not, for it's just a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. So it's not like we are investing the dollar bills in him.

Here is a guy.. Who hasn't been in the Majors since 2007. This will probably end with him starting the year in Triple-A. Depth perhaps.. His best year was back in 2002 with Montreal, going 13-8 in 31 starts with a 3.18 ERA. He Carried a 4.14 ERA last year in Triple-A Charlotte(Chicago White Sox).

He might even pair up with a guy he was traded with, Rich Rundles, in Columbus.

It's come down to Minnesota and Los Angeles for Casey Blake. He wants three years, and as we know, the Indians aren't stupid, at least we don't think that. Whoever gives him three first might get him. Thank God...... Love ya Casey but, time to move on.

AC has a Winter Meeting Preview up.. We all know by now the needs, Tomo Ohka doesn't change anything, thankfully.

We talked about Jordan Brown, and if you lisented to that radio show done by Tony Lastoria and Paul Cousineau, you know how determined Jordan Brown is. I fear he is going to be a big loss if we let him get away. He could be a man on a mission and his bat is way better than Michael Aubrey's will ever be.

Jellis at Indians Prospect Insider put together a nice little breakdown of the last five years of the Rule V.. First basemen don't usually get taken, in fact only 2% were first baseman, and none of them really turned out to be an impact talent like a Dan Uggla or a Josh Hamilton.

My lovable Scrappers have undergone a Logo Change! They will be getting new uni's which will be announced sometime next year.. Here is the new logo set, I'll be updating it on the side pannel, yay.

It's basically an angrier bulldog with a change of colors and he is no longer pitching he's yanking a heavy dutie CHAIN! I LIKE..

NEW

OLD

I likes those teef... Yes

PROMOTIONS ARE OUT! YES!

I love promotions, I can tell you which ones I don't like and which ones I hope I have tickets for.

I'll do it at a later date, when the conversation sucks. But real quick, 1988 CHOO BOBBLEHEAD? HA I can't wait to see that picture. Those retro bobbleheads are nuts.

12.03.2008

Offseason Targets and Arbitration Statuses... es.. okay

Jerry Hairston Jr., CIN
Casey Blake, LAD
Mark Lorretta, HOU
Doug Mientkiewicz, PIT
Raul Ibanez, SEA
Paul Byrd, BOS
Freddy Garcia, DET
Randy Johnson, ARI
Braden Looper, STL
Mark Mulder, STL
Carl Pavano, NYY
Brad Penny, LAD
CC Sabathia, MIL
Ben Sheets, MIL
Randy Wolf, HOU
Luis Ayala, NYM
Chad Cordero, WAS
Juan Cruz, ARI
Bob Howry, CHC
Will Ohman, ATL
Dennys Reyes, MIN
Brian Fuentes, COL
Trevor Hoffman, SD
Jason Isringhausen, STL
Brandon Lyon, ARI
Francisco Rodriguez, LAA
John Smoltz, ATL
Kerry Wood, CHC
Sal Fasano, CLE
Juan Rincon, CLE
Brendan Donnelly, CLE
Scott Elarton, CLE

Okay... That is the list of targets we have on our Offseason Chart.

BLUE = Either Offered Arbitration and are not a Type A/B FA or not offered
GREEN = Offered Arb, Type B FA
RED = Offered Arb, Type A FA

Orlando Hudson, Jon Garland, Orlando Cabrera, and Mark Grudzielanek all got offered are Type A or B, but aren't on our list.

There you go.. Kerry Wood might be expensive, but he won't cost a draft pick..

Not that we lose our draft pick this year anyway.. The Tribe finished in the bottom half of the league, they get to keep their pick.

That according to Shapiro means..

"That's significant," said Shapiro of keeping the first-round pick.

It looks like the Colorado Rockies are holding onto Garrett Atkins for the time being.

Casey Blake has a high asking price, which has the Indians backing out a little bit. Even though they weren't really pushing hard to begin with, yay.

Three years, 20 million?

Noooooop!

Not even two years if you ask me.

The Indians will be focusing on one thing and one thing only when the Winter League's start next Monday.

CLOSER!
"The Winter Meetings will be a time things get going," Shapiro said.
No Crud.. But there is no quote about going after a closer. I'll just take Anthony Castrovince's word for it.

That's really I got for now..

Javier Vazquez is on his way out of the AL Central. That's fun.

12.01.2008

It might hit the fan pretty soon

It's been like a slow moving boat paddling up stream.

Pretty soon, it might start getting faster..

Then.. Boom we'll hit a waterfall.

Again, nothing is going on, even with the entire MLB. Nothing is getting done.

Why?

Money maybe?

Arbitration is one thing. The deadline is today.. Arb is important because if a player is offered it, and they decline, the team's get draft picks provided they are a Type A or Type B free agent.

The risky part is if a team offers arbitration, but they don't want the player back just the draft pick(s), the player might take them up on the deal.

We won't get into it.. It doesn't matter to us because no one on the Indians will be getting arbitration offered, none of them will garner draft picks and none of them need brought back on major league deals.

That's going to get things going though this week. Later though.. Winter Meetings!

The Winter meetings start next Monday and that is going to be the time when things really get moving. For whatever reason.

So it's going to probably be another slow week, then everything hits the fan.

For now though.. We only have a few things out there.

Let's start with the main story.

Rest easy on Orlando Hudson and Rafael Furcal.

The Indians are backing out and putting their focus into getting a closer.

For the record.. Furcal fits us better than Hudson if you ask me..

But.. Both are way too expensive for the Indians to put their faith in, especially coming off injuries. Not that they had a chance anyway. Furcal will probably sign with the A's sometime soon here and Hudson with a team willing to put the risk in for him, maybe the Mets.

That brings us to the closer. We all know the names.. The Indians have been talking to the agents of a lot of the closers, but do we really expect Fuentes or Rodriguez to be in the Indians' realistic plans or for those players to feel the same way?

No.

We talked about Valverde being available, Jenks is out there, but the White Sox wouldn't trade him inside division. Putz is a name as well that I'd love to have.

But really, I think signing a closer is a lot safer option at this point, especially with the talent in the pipeline. Don't trade a chip for something you can get without wasting a prospect.

Here is the Winter League Round-Up for this last week on Prospect Insider. Adam Miller and Matt LaPorta are done.

That brings us to what else. It's Monday which means question and answer time from our two favorite scribes. Meh, one of our favorite scribes, I guess... I guess.. Unrelated..

Start with Hoynes because there isn't much that is interesting here.

Q: Hey, Hoynsie: Why don't the Indians acquire Omar Vizquel and move Johnny Peralta to third base? --Carol Myers, Chattanooga, Tenn.

A: Hey, Carol: Believe it or not, you're not the first person to suggest this move. I just don't think Vizquel, 42 in April, is an option to play every day at shortstop. He had a bad knee last year and played only 92 games for the Giants.

Here is why I would tell CARRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

CARRROOOOOLLLL!! THERE IS NO CAROL IN HR!
caution, language.. I know, I'm an idiot. Don't tell me twice.

I'd say... No.. I love Omar as much as the next guy, but his bat is finally toast.. He can still play defense, but the bat is gone.

The juicy stuff..

Josh Barfield is a hot topic.

BUT FIRST.. Let's pick something else out of Castrovince's mailbag.

In 2005, the Indians drafted Tim Lincecum 1,261st overall. Why was Mark Shapiro unwilling to sign him based upon his mechanics, as we see now his mechanics are not a problem?
-- Cameron T., Streetsboro, Ohio

If the Indians had major concerns with Lincecum's delivery, they wouldn't have drafted him in the first place. On the contrary, the Indians -- and, in particular, West Coast crosschecker Paul Cogan -- were enamored with Lincecum, who was a sophomore-eligible at the University of Washington because he was within 45 days of his 21st birthday.

The Indians made what they believe to be an aggressive offer, but Lincecum rightly decided to stay in college another year. That move paid off when he was drafted 10th overall by the Giants the following year and signed for a $2.025 million bonus.

I get so saddened everytime I read about the mentioning of the Indians drafting Lincecum.. He probably would have been crazy to sign with the Indians when he got drafted, considering, hey he had the talent and if he felt he could be a higher draft pick, why not.

But yeah.. Just think about that.. The Indians drafted the NL Cy Young winner and own the AL Cy Young winner this year. They also drafted who is going to be the highest paid pitcher in the history of the game.

Rats.

Okay to Barfield..

This sticks out, obviously, something I did not know.
"I sense a slight discord between Barfield and the Indians that began when Eric Wedge would routinely pinch-hit for Barfield in clutch situations in '07. At the end of this past season, the Indians asked Barfield to play winter ball, and he opted not to, which I found strange. That's not to suggest he has a bad attitude, because he doesn't. It's just that this is a relationship that has yet to pan out as planned."
Interesting..

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I YELLED AT ERIC WEDGE FOR TAKING GUYS OUT IN CLUTCH SITUATIONS!?

HUH!?

MAN!?

GUY?!

THING!?!?!

HELLO!?

CAROL!?

THERE IS NONE.. GET OUT OF HERE.

Josh Barfield, brings to the forefront that is something I've freaking been saying all year. Wedge shows no faith in his young guys when he should be.. Are they going to fail? Yes they will.

Will they fail all the time? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON'T TRY CAROL!

That's all I'm saying.. C'mon man.

As for Barfield himself.

I still believe in him. I still think it's there.. It's between the ears.

Michael Taylor provides a very telling side that looks at statistics and scouting reports.

I just think there is more there though. He's not confident and how coculd he be? you have to break Wedge's fingers before he starts doing things. That's the one thing that ticks me off more than anything about Eric as a manager.

I'm getting side tracked.

Josh has to go to Triple-A next year and prove he can hit.. I KNOW he can.. It's there, he has the talent he has the lineage to do so. He has to prove it at Triple-A and with no expectations, maybe he can. The faster he does that, the faster he'll be in the Big Leagues and the faster the Indians can get the shift on.

These things have a way of working themselves out.. Josh has to worry about what he can do, not what he can't. Hopefully he puts what he learned and fixed from his Dad to use in Columbus next year and he gets it done. I'm pulling for him because I still believe in him.

Before Plaxico shoots me, I'm going to get going. I made some changes on the site and going to try more to speed it up in the next few weeks.. It's kind of gotten out of control and I need to tweak it.

11.25.2008

Indians Sign RP

HAH

Not what you thought though.

Indians sign RHP Greg Aquino

Aquino was a league average reliever not too long ago. Last season played out much like 2007 though, with most of the season spent in Triple-A, and a handful of innings in the majors. Aquino didn't show his groundball inducing skills last season, but encouragingly did get a good percentage of swinging strikes in Norfolk, 14.3%. One of Mark Shapiro's weaknesses has been bullpen building, not alliteration, so if nothing else, this is a nice depth signing for 'Bus. Best case he turns in 20-25 innings of league average work in response to an injury.

There you go.

Typical Mark Shapiro move.. I guess more details when someone out there reports this..

Baseball America is fine.. but, yeah.

Greg Aquino has pitched for Arizona, Milwaukee and last year with Baltimore. He pitched in just nine games last year. Injuries, Minor Leagues, yay.

Who knows.. He turned in 30 plus innings, for Arizona three straight years.

From that same article.. Preston Larrison has signed with the Nationals.

All's quiet on the Western Front

What exactly does that expression mean and can that really relate to the Cleveland Indians?

A team located in NE Ohio, where it's snowing and mighty freezing right now.

Thank god for parking decks and bridge sky-walks, that's all I have to say.

Hey Trevor Hoffman, if you want to submit yourself to this, that's cool dawg.

Hoffman seemed like he was going to be the Indians closer a few years ago when they offered him a nice deal. Then his San Diego Padres said, hey guy... Yeah we want you back.

Can you blame him? It's nice to see someone choose less money for comfort.

Why don't any of our guys do that?

Grady buddy, you got at least three maybe four more years before you have to think of mega-contracts. Don't break our hearts.

Before I get ahead of myself.

There is NOTHING going on in the Hot Stove. It looks like the economic problems or whatever hoopla the analysts are blaming it on is actually effecting free agency.

Or maybe it's that damn CC character holding up everything.

Or that K-Rod.

Why should the Indians move at a fast pace? If Hoffman is going to come cheaper than we all think... Or Wood.. Or Whatever..

Or Crede..

You know what I'm sayin!

I mean Jeremy Affeldt? Come on now, we've got bigger and better names out there to be had.

Don't be getting on Shapiro for not doing anything and don't start thinking.

ohhhhhhhhhh I don't like the way this offseason is shaping up maaaan, Shapiro's sitting on his Ivy league-excel spreadsheet-orange haired-ass doing nothing.

No one's doing anything!

At least not signing. Shapiro is busy at work as we get to see now.. Things are just moving very veeeerrrrryyy slowwwlllllyyyyy..

Like Victor Martinez slow.

Not quite Garko slow.

Let's break down the Plain Dealer Article.
"GM Mark Shapiro and Wedge put the full court press on Hoffman. They visited him at his home and made a good impression on baseball's all-time saves leader. When asked if he thought that would earn the Indians any points this winter as they pursue Hoffman, among other closers, Shapiro said, 'You'd have to ask Trevor.' "
Very interesting my dear friends. Obviously, the Indians already have a leg up with their previous dealings with Hoffman and his agent a few years ago.

The more and more I think about it.. The more and more I warm up to it. If anything, his veteran presence will be a huge thing with guys in our pen. I mean, it's the guy who's saved more games than anyone in Major League history.

Going back to the very slowly article that I linked.

Shapiro mentioned he'll "probably" need to take a few men off the 40 man roster to make offseason moves.

There, he plans on doing something, so rejoice about that.

Ed..Eddie..Edwin..Edward... What haven't we used.. That gives me an idea for a photoshop.. Ooh

Mujica, you are on notice.. Aubrey, you are on notice.. Mastny, you are no notice.. Marte, you are on notice..

Dellucci, I freaking hope you are on notice you waste of space..

Anyway...

New fans ask the questions, Hoynes gives you an answer and Castrovince makes a joke.

Start with Hoynes.

Someone made a crack about Cliff Lee and his trade value.. Hoynes killed them, boosh.

Someone then seriously asked about if it would be smart to trade Lee while he has value, or sign him to a long term deal.

I'd do neither.

I mean is this the best they can do?

Hey, Hoynsie: Hey, you old (bleep), should the Indians sign Adam Dunn? -- Frank Wrick, North Olmsted

Hey, Frank: Who taught you to text message -- Phil Savage?

I'm all for getting some pop in the outfield, but the Indians feel they have bigger needs.

That made me laugh, unfortunately. Don't we have anyone out there with more brains?

Hoynes hears Kerry Wood is asking for a four year deal. No thank you.

Looks like Casey Blake could be going back to Minnesota here soon.. Stay away Mark, stay away.

I say this..

I feel a lot better if Casey Blake is playing for Minnesota, than Cleveland. It might sound weird, but in my mind it makes all sorts of sense.

Moving on to AC.

The question came up about trading catchers.

Martinez isn't getting traded, Santana isn't going anywhere.

That leaves us with Gimenez, Toregas and Shoppach.

One will be traded.... I think I'm right on when I say that. We just have too many catchers not to get rid of one and get some value.

The question becomes, which one.

I think actually that Shoppach is going to stay. Now I'd like to trade him as I've mentioned, because his value will never be higher.

But I think the Indians want to cover their bases in the infield. That means getting rid of Dellucci, keeping Shoppach, Garko, Vic and Hafner and hoping three of the four pan out as starters.

That leaves us with Gimenez and Toregas, I'd trade Toregas, Gimenez can play more positions and Toregas had a set back last year going back to Akron.

That's essentially one of the ideas AC was planting and I think it sounds the most reasonable. Unless the Indians are blown away with a deal for Shoppach.

This made my day however.

Do you think the Indians would be able to sign Guillermo Mota and include him in a package with Andy Marte in a trade for Coco Crisp? I feel like the Indians could really use Crisp's speed at the top of the lineup hitting No. 2 behind Grady Sizemore, plus I love the energy he brings to the game.
-- Adam S., Wadsworth, Ohio
I should find this Adam S. from Wadsworth, if I knew how to get there from Kent, I just moved, sue me, and shake his hand. This is the greatest sarcastic trade idea ever. Well maybe not ever but in the past... year.. maybe..

AFL and the Hawaii League is over... Here is the full recap of all the stats and some in progress stats for the Winter Leagues. Adam Miller and Fausto put together a combined six hitter in the DR for Chuck Hernandez and Carl Willis.

Now.. Bill James who I've just not had good vibes from, whoever he is.. Does these projections.. I guess you can't take any stock into them reading some of the comments on the article, which is by the way the link up there about the Shapiro quote. Whatever.. It's fun to look at, at least. James said Sizemore is the 24th best young player in baseball.. I think he's higher. Let's judge him.
Infielders: Garko .282, 24 doubles, 15 homers, 55 runs, 72 RBI; Asdrubal Cabrera .277, 30 doubles, 10 homers, 84 runs, 62 RBI; Jhonny Peralta .274, 38 doubles, 23 homers, 97 runs, 84 RBI and Jamey Carroll .260, 15 doubles, 2 homers, 57 runs, 30 RBI.

Catchers/DH: Kelly Shoppach .256, 26 doubles, 19 homers, 57 runs, 59 RBI; Victor Martinez .300, 38 doubles, 17 homers, 73 runs, 92 RBI; and Travis Hafner .270, 30 doubles, 23 homers, 72 runs, 83 RBI.

Outfielders: Shin-Soo Choo .282, 27 doubles, 14 homers, 78 runs, 68 RBI; Sizemore .277, 41 doubles, 7 triples, 29 homers, 117 runs, 88 RBI, 30 steals; Ben Francisco .271, 26 doubles, 11 homers, 54 runs, 47 RBI; Gutierrez .271, 26 doubles, 10 homers, 60 runs, 42 RBI; and David Dellucci .241, 11 doubles, 8 homers, 32 runs, 30 RBI.
Outfielders.. Choo looks on par if you ask me. I think he'll hit for a higher average, I'll take that. Francisco is fine, Gutierrez is on par with a rebound, but I think he'll hit more if he's his hand on a regular role, if not that's fine. Dellucci should just be cut. He won't hit five homers for the Indians.

Are these numbers for Shoppach if he was starting half the time? If so, I'll take it. Between Shoppach, Vic and Garko. That's like 50 home runs.. I'll take that sir.

If Travis Hafner hits 25 home runs, I think we'll all be jumping for JOY!

Peralta.. I will take that..

Cabrera.. I will TAKE THAT EVERY DAY!

Anyway that's all I really got.. Things are moving slow.. Maybe be back tomorrow, if not, Happy Thanksigiving everyone enjoy the holliday.