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12.20.2009

Give me the news, or whatever you can

Nino Colla | Sunday, December 20, 2009 | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
The news drought has finally hit us.

It was only a matter of time before there wasn't anything.

However today is December 20th, which means today is the day we should know who the Indians will receive in return for Kelly Shoppach.

There really isn't much to talk about this morning though. It's been a steady diet of stuff that really doesn't concern us.

I mean Jamey Carroll signed with the Dodgers, but we all assumed he was gone.

The Cliff Lee trade continues to be the talk of baseball. Well at least the Roy Halladay trade. Lee though remains a top subject because of the little conversation being carried throughout the media about him wanting to stay in Philadelphia and not actually talking numbers like the Phillies side/media claimed.

Either way, the Indians are still very much involved in this deal because of some interesting points that Terry Pluto brought up.

You've got Cliff Lee and an additional player going to Philadelphia for four prospects. Now Cliff Lee essentially going to Seattle for three prospects. According to Pluto's opinion, at least, and this makes total sense. Kyle Drabek went to Toronto for Halladay because they were able to knock out an extension with Halladay.

Now I buy that.. But it isn't the reason Cliff Lee wasn't traded for Drabek. There was no talk of an extension when the Lee deal went down and maybe talks about that were included, but you can't tell me the reason Drabek is a Blue Jay and not an Indian is because Halladay signed an extension.

Drabek is a Blue Jay because he got traded for Roy Halladay, not Cliff Lee.

And it goes back to the root of why the Phillies traded Lee to Seattle in order to acquire Halladay.

Roy Halladay is perceived better than Cliff Lee.

End of story.

Here is what is boils down to. It remains to be seen how each team will come out of this mega-swap that took place over the last six months (Oakland, Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia, Seattle were all involved in one way or another).

Look at it like this.

Oakland: Ended up with Michael Taylor, who was a Phillie, but Toronto traded to Oakland for Brett Wallace, who was a Cardinal.

Toronto: Ended up with Kyle Drabek, Travis D'Arnaud and aforementioned Wallace.

Seattle: Ended up with Cliff Lee

Philadelphia: Ended up with Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez.

Cleveland: Ended up with Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald.

So Philadelphia essentially traded Knapp, Marson, Carrasco, Donald, Drabek, Taylor and D'Arnaud for a half year of Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and prospects.

Compare the package Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco yielded the Tribe compared to the one that the Phillies got for just Lee.

Aumont was the Mariners third prospect last year, Ramirez was fifth and Gilles was 20th. Yet all of them are still years away.

For all the complaining Cleveland fans did about the package Cleveland got, Seattle's looks just as depressing to some. The reality is, it really isn't. We don't know how it will turn out, just like the Cleveland deal, but on the surface they traded for prospects.

The point is, give it a chance. We'll see how it turns out. We didn't get a deal any different than what anyone else would have gotten. Drabek wasn't on the table for Cleveland because Halladay wasn't and it had nothing to do with an extension.

Philadelphia wanted Halladay. They weren't going to get an extension done at the halfway point, so they made the deal for Lee knowing they didn't have to give up Drabek and they'd re-visit the deal in the offseason when they could talk extension.

Hoynes carries the same notion about the extension. But I'll maintain it. Cleveland wasn't getting Drabek, extension or not. Toronto was only getting him if the Phillies could work out an extension with Halladay, but that doesn't mean Cleveland would have if they could with Lee. End of story.

A few more notes from Pluto. At the end, he mentions the Indians gave "lip service" about Ryan Garko. But it is Pluto's belief that Garko won't be back. They seem hell bent on Andy Marte working out in this role and as Pluto mentioned, Nunnally reuniting with his greatest reclassification project is a big reason why.

In real Indians news, Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez and Jake Westbrook all had positive outings lately.

Starting with Westbrook who finished his stint with Puerto Rico injury free and his final line...

4 Starts: 12.1 IP, 15 H, 3.65 ERA, 6/6 BB/SO, 0 HR.

His final start was four innings of shutout ball with three strikeouts and he continued to produce the groundball out that he is famous for.

So far, so good. Now we wait till Spring Training to come and hope he can survive without a set back.

Fausto Carmona is expected to be part number two to the Indians rotation and he too provided some comfort with his five inning, no walk performance in the Dominican.

I could care less about everything else, I just look at the no walks and remain confident that he's on his way back. That's the key with Carmona, you know he is going good. One start is one thing, but in his 13 innings to not walk a single hitter is very positive.

Equally impressive in his winter league outings has been Rafael Perez, who has started five games in an effort to re-establish conditioning and his length. He's now 3-0 with a .33 ERA, you read that right, in 27 innings of work in the Dominican Winter League. He hasn't given up a single home run and he's struck out 25 hitters, which tells you that Perez has it going when he is striking out nearly a hitter per inning.

Further proving that Cleveland has a top-notch team when it comes to injuries, Tim Maxey has been named to the newly created position of MLB Joint Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. In his new position, Maxey will work with all 30 MLB teams in his area of expertise, creating educational programs. Cleveland will now need a replacement, but it just goes to show you that Maxey was a part of Cleveland's stellar group and program to deal with injuries and keeping their players right.

Mentioned Carroll signed with LA earlier this week. I tweeted how he deserved the contract. He's a good guy and hard worker that will no doubt be a nice addition to LA. He also is going back to the NL West and he'll no doubt compete for a playoff spot an possibly a World Series.

Cleveland will now move on and look for a new utility player. Indications are that Jason Donald will not be the man and that Cleveland has every intention in starting him out at Triple-A Columbus. Expect one of those 40-man roster spots to go to whoever the Indians utility player will be, but I don't expect it to be known until Spring Training is close to finished.

Finally.. Congrats to Matt LaPorta who graduated from the University of Florida yesterday.

Check out the recap of sorts I wrote on B/R about Shapiro's maneuvering through the past few weeks.

With it being Christmas next week, I don't expect much if any news at all. So I've got some stuff planned early in the week. I finally am ahead of what I wanted to unleash, so expect the debut of the Twitter-project I've been working on. No doubt, the blog will be on break Christmas Eve until the end of the week unless there is major breaking news.

Also, major update on the boards this past week and a half. The coaches are now up to date as the Tribe announced their full staff for all their teams. The lone exception is trainer for Mahoning Valley, which has not yet been announced. Be back later today or tomorrow morning, depending on when they announce who the Indians have acquired in the Shoppach deal.

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