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1.18.2010

Catch me if you can Wyatt

Nino Colla | Monday, January 18, 2010 | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Yeah I'll be honest.

There isn't much today and I probably should catch up on work for my classes tomorrow.

I'm sort of delaying the inevitable though. I don't like this semester. There is too much work. I took a freshman level course for my sports management major thinking it wouldn't put much on the plate, because of the senior level comm course I'm taking.

Someone should really tell the teacher it's freshman level and that all this reading isn't required.

It just goes to show you that you can plan all you want, but that never works.

So this is where I spin my situation into the Indians news.

The Indians can plan to not go to arbitration with Rafael Perez, doesn't mean they won't.

But they haven't been to the dreaded mediation since 1991, so don't count on them going with Rafael Perez.

Perez filed for arbitration last week. With Jose Veras pretty much being let go, Anthony Reyes being out-righted and signed to a minor league deal and Shoppach being traded, Perez is the lone guy with a contract to discuss.

They've got about a month to take care of things and knowing the Indians, they'll get something done as they always do. Rafael Perez has no leverage based on the past season. It's his first time that he's eligible for arbitration.

He's a relief pitcher. It will get done.

While we are on the topic of arbitration and the name Kelly Shoppach. Might as well inform you of the deal he reached with the Rays, avoiding arbitration.

He didn't sign a one year deal, no Shoppach inked a two-year contract with his new club. It's believed to be worth $5.5 million which averages out to $2.75 each year. That's $1.9 million more than the Indians are going to pay Mike Redmond to be their backup catcher this year.

Alright so the argument is in full-force as sit always is when the Indians make a move. Because that's how we do it in Cleveland.

Let me first say..

This is a minor move, so again, let's not go ape-crazy on Mark Shapiro if you disagree. It's the same as Mitch Talbot. Settle down now.

That being said.. When Shapiro traded Shoppach to Tampa Bay, he said it was to open up more opportunities for the young guys, Lou Marson, Wyatt Toregas and Carlos Santana.

So why sign Mike Redmond after you do that?

Let me try and rationalize this, because I did come down on the positive side of signing Redmond.

If you keep Kelly Shoppach, you are paying him a substantial salary, as we see with his deal with the Rays. If you pay him 2 million dollars, you damn well better use him more than once a week.

That's taking time away from the guys.

Redmond was signed to be the backup and the backup only. He'll play once a week, maybe sometimes twice a week. He knows he's a backup, he knows his job and you get the additional veteran presence.

That's why you switch out Shoppach and bring in Redmond. And you are paying Redmond backup catcher money. You get equal value. You don't get equal value if Shoppach is your backup.

Now the one area that I think this sucks in, is the Wyatt Toregas situation.

Yes I said Wyatt Toregas.

According to Castrovince, Toregas will battle Marson in spring training for the starting spot. He'll ultimately lose, because we like to assume things.

Toregas will lose and go back to Triple-A, where he will not start, but back-up Carlos Santana.

So Wyatt Toregas is either going to start at the major leagues or backup in the minors. There is no in-between for him. That sucks, but it is baseball. I say this. Is Wyatt Toregas going to be the next Victor Martinez?

No, he's not. He's a good kid and deserves a shot, but Carlos Santana is the future here. It sucks for him, but the Indians have to do what's best for them.

I can't imagine the Indians acquired Lou Marson to be their future backup catcher, but you never know. If Marson does enough to up his value (and his value is still up there for other teams), then Toregas is still around for the future.

So while it sucks right now for Toregas, if he continues to work hard and keep at it, and he deserves it, that chance will come to him.

So yes, I'm on the Redmond signing bandwagon. I feel for Toregas if he doesn't win the job, but that's baseball.

But really, this all goes back to the age-old debate we always seem to have with this team.

Is this team too scared to put it's faith into young guys, even in a season they aren't expected to heavily contend?

Signing guys like Austin Kearns, brings up the idea that maybe they don't want to rush Michael Brantley into things.

And it sort of makes me believe those things.

So what do you do?

Well find out in the spring I guess.. But yeah I'm partially concerned about that. Always Am. I'm in love with signing some veterans and trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Carl Pavano. But I also want to give the young guys a chance when we can.

So that's that... And if we can go back to Rafael Perez for a minute, let's wrap up this Monday discussion with the bullpen.

AC's around the horn look at the Indians continues with the bullpen. And I love the quote and I'll keep posting it every single time I remember to.
"I feel as good as you can feel about the bullpen," general manager Mark Shapiro said, "in light of the progress our guys made in the second half."
Tweak it to the current situation, but that first part is always the truth when you are dealing with the bullpen. I feel as good as you can feel about a bullpen. I've learned after last year and in 2007 you can never feel good about a bullpen. It's an eternal crap-shoot.

You can never feel awesome, you just have to feel as good as your current situation allows.

So why even discuss it anymore today? There's going to be fifteen million names in the mix and who really knows if any of them are sure things. Sure Kerry Wood, Rafael and Chris Perez, all might be a sure thing as far as being on the roster to start the year, but we can't trust anyone.

We'll save that for our spring training preview.

Which is less than a month away, because according to the clock up there ^^^, we've got 31 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Get excited..

I think I keep saying that.

Try to keep getting excited.

I've got some daunting reading to catch up on. Someone should help me.

Oh and if you haven't already, follow Fake Mark Shapiro on twitter. Because it will be fun. Fake Mark told me so.

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