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12.22.2009

Some Talbot Aftermath and Situation Discussion

Nino Colla | Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
In a way... I'm glad we acquired Mitch Talbot.

We got a guy named Mitch on the team!

Eh okay lite on the humor for now.

Let's recap and add in some stuff we didn't know yesterday or I didn't know until after the post.

- Talbot has no options left. He now joins Hector Ambriz and Jeremy Sowers as players who need to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training or risk being lost.

- Talbot was a highly ranked prospect in the Rays system up until last year as Triple-A performance and a squeeze in starters (Sonnanstine, Price, Niemann, Hammel) prevented him from getting a major league look.

- He's coming off a year in which he had an elbow strain in his pitching arm. It was his third consecutive year at Triple-A.

- New Addition: The Indians sent cash to the Rays with Shoppach to get Talbot. Had Cruz been the player, the Indians would have had to sent another prospect Tampa's way.

- New Addition: The Rays actually picked the player, which is why it took so long. Rafael Soriano's addition, Kelly Shoppach's arbitration and them not getting rid of Dioner Navarro probably all had an impact on the decision they made.

In the end. Tony at IPI pretty much summed it up. This was a trade of parts neither team wanted. The Rays had no use for Talbot and were just going to get rid of him anyway and the Indians were going to non-tender Shoppach if they couldn't find a buyer.

The parts now have a use. Shoppach provides the Rays another option at catcher and Talbot gives the Indians another arm to potentially plug into the rotation battle. Their hope is that one sticks.

If we look at it like this: Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson is the rotation if all are healthy. David Huff probably slots in after last year and the fifth spot will no doubt be a result of a Spring Training battle.

In that battle is now: Aaron Laffey, Carlos Carrasco, Hector Rondon, Jeremy Sowers, Mitch Talbot, Scott Lewis,

Read the link to the post on IPI as it has quotes from Shapiro on All Bets are Off yesterday. I got home from shopping at five and just missed the interview, so I didn't see it at all. It seems as if Chris Antonetti though was the main guy talking to the media.

"There were a number of complexities to the player to be named component," assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Cash was a consideration, in the event that we went with Talbot."

"He's another upper-level starting option for us," Antonetti said. "He's a guy we've had interest in for quite a while. He's logged close to 400 Triple-A innings, and we're adding him to our mix to come in and compete for a spot."

Shapiro said on ABAO that they were privately hoping Talbot was the guy, which may be a lie, but who knows. The reason for this, they want as many starting options as possible. Which in theory sounds like a good idea I had laid out yesterday.

But it also has the potential to sprout up problems in having too many people for the job to the point they all get discouraged. Say they give the shot to Talbot and he hangs on for a few months where he's okay, but not bad enough to give up on. But they finally give up on him and then give someone like Sowers a shot because he's in the pen. Then he sucks.

Then you finally give Laffey a shot and it works, but at this point, what the hell?

If you don't, effectively, guess right, then you are swimming around looking for answers.

Whatever, we now know the situation.

Rotation: Westbrook, Carmona, Masterson
2 Spots Up For Grabs Between: Laffey, Huff, Talbot, Sowers, Carrasco, Rondon, Lewis

Bullpen: Wood, R. Perez, C. Perez, Lewis, Smith, Sipp
Spots Up For Grabs For: Grilli, Rivera, Ambriz, Todd, Gosling, Sowers, Talbot, And Probably More

This is pretty much ironed out for now. We'll probably have more minor league signings for additions to the bullpen battle. I don't expect any sort of Carl Pavano signing or even many if any starters signed to minor league deals for the rotation. Talbot was the Pavano signing. He is the extra arm brought in for the battle.

But shift focus to the bench as that's probably what we're going to be looking after now. Luis Rodriguez and Brian Buscher are in on the mix now as signed players. Andy Marte will be around as well, but that isn't enough. I'd expect a few more signings that would compete for the utility role. As we found out awhile ago, Donald isn't expect to contend for that spot, so the Indians are most definitely in the market for a utility player.

It will not be a Jamey Carroll of sorts. I can't see the Indians spending money and a guaranteed roster spot for a utility player. They'll bring in more Luis Rodriguezes and find an answer that way.

New Indians Inbox up on the Indians website. Main discussion is more on the Lee Trade and Adam Miller.

Finally... Check out my piece on Chuck Lofgren and his new journey with the Brewers.

Tomorrow, barring some breaking news piece that will give us something to discuss, expect the debut of Indians Twitter pages. It will be the last post before Christmas Blog Break.

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