Sowers placed on waivers and a bone to pick with ChooWe might as well start with the latest news out of Goodyear that Jeremy Sowers has been placed on waivers.
According to FOX's Ken Rosenthal, the move was made to clear a 40-man spot for Mark Grudzielanek, which signals to us that he's won a bench spot. Originally, Rosenthal said Sowers was a candidate for release, now a candidate for the minor leagues if unclaimed.
What it means for Anderson Hernandez and Andy Marte? We'll discuss that in a second.
What it means for Sowers... Well if he goes unclaimed the Indians have two options that have already been laid out by Rosenthal in his non-existent tweet and his current tweet.
Send him to Columbus to continue his rehab or just outright release him.
The problem with sending him to Columbus is this. Their rotation is filled with Rondon, Gomez, Pino, Lewis, and the loser of Carrasco and Huff. Sure they could make room to get Sowers some starts, but maybe then Sowers wouldn't have that 40 man power that he has over Rondon, Carrasco/Huff, and Gomez that he once had. So then he wouldn't be the "first man" up when the rotation needed help.
So when you look at it that way, the only reason Sowers was even in consideration was because he was out of options. Now that it won't be an issue, it seems likely that the Indians are ready to move on without Sowers. At least to me. They could send him to Columbus or even Akron to rehab. Nothing says they have to put him in Columbus from the start.
But if the Indians were to give Sowers a shot, he'd have to be re-added to the 40-man roster. After Carrasco's spring fling, you would assume he's leapfrogged Sowers in that regard.
So I don't know what to make of it. Either way, I don't foresee a future for Jeremy Sowers in Cleveland. So a call to the minors for rehab could just be prolonging the death of his career with the Indians.
Now Rosenthal assumes the spot is for Mark Grudzielanek.What if it isn't? Then it would be for Austin Kearns, which means Wyatt Toregas is safe. No harm no foul.
If it is for Grudzielanek, which we are going to assume it is... Then Austin Kearns would still need a spot if he were to make the team. Then Toregas would be in danger. Unless of course the Indians want to end the Anderson Hernandez experiment (I would if you are keeping Grudzielanek, unless this spells doom for Andy Marte, which would be a mistake), then they wouldn't have to worry about Toregas.
This is just a mess right now... I don't even know if Hernandez has options and if they would send him down if he even did because there really isn't a spot for him in Columbus with Brian Bixler, Josh Rodriguez, and Jason Donald.
Like I said.... Mess right now... I think I'll wait until everything is clarified before I begin to even sort out what is going to happen, because nine different things could definitely happen. I mean, Marte has to be on the team because there is no one else to play first for LaPorta. So something has to give with Hernandez and Grundle.
Speaking of waivers... Did anyone else see that Ryan Garko was placed on them by the Mariners to make room for Mike Sweeney? Are they on drugs? Sweeney can't play first anymore, what happened to their platoon with Casey Kotchman? Man what a stinger for Ryan as he had a chance there.
Hope he lands on his feet. It makes me more angry that we spent the two million on Branyan when you can get a guy like Garko for half a million and he would be a capable stop-gap at first for what the Indians wanted to do with the Brantley situation.
Last night, the Indians took on the Royals and Mitch Talbot got one last Cactus League tuneup.
It didn't go so well...Talbot got roughed up in the first inning of the Indians 7-2 loss to the Royals. He gave up five in the first inning and gave up two more later in the fourth, one was unearned. He gave up nine hits and three walks on the day in his 5.2 innings.
Jamey Wright and Jensen Lewis pitched scoreless frames in their continued effort to win bullpen spots.
Is Talbot getting rocked concerning? A little, but was his insane ERA prior to the beating a accurate representation of what he would be int he regular season? No, so you take the good with the bad in spring and just hope he is consistent once the games games.
Talbot is a part of that never ending discussion about the rotation, which Terry Pluto tackles.
The Tribe's two runs came off an Asdrubal Cabrera double in the third inning.
The loss was the Indians second straight and second of this span of playing regulars more often and deeper into games. But what about all these spring wins? Acta says they are good for the soul, but he also realizes there is a deeper meaning.
"[Bench coach] Tim Tolman told me that from day one," said Acta. "He said we're going to have a good spring because our backups are good and our prospects are hungry. That's a good assessment, the way the Rays put it."
But there is no harm in winning as Acta said. It is good for the soul. It isn't exactly chicken soup, but it does build confidence. Evidence that with the fact that retail sales actually did go up after the 5-0 cactus league start according to Dennis Lehman. It really isn't a huge deal, but there is a different sort of confidence bubbling up about the team than there was a month ago.
Okay this seems like a good time to start this since we are sort of on the subject of money.
If you saw my tweets last night, you would have seen that I absolutely went off on Shin-Soo Choo.
Castrovince revealed yesterday that negotiations for a contract extension for Choo with the Indians have sort of stalled. The Indians don't speak publicly about these things and Boras hasn't commented, so we have to rely on what Choo and the media tells us.
"It's up to Boras and the Indians to figure that out," Choo said Tuesday. "That's not my job. My job is to worry about the team."
Is it? I wasn't aware that it was Boras hitting the home runs for the team. I wasn't aware that it would be Boras living in Cleveland if he were to sign a long-term deal. I didn't know it was completely in the hands of Scott Boras and the Cleveland Indians.
That is bogus to me and it really makes me lose a lot of respect for Choo. Maybe this is a case like it was last year with Peralta with the language barrier being a problem and Choo not being able to communicate his actual feeling properly.
But it isn't his job?
How is it not his job? This is his career we are dealing with, so it better damn well be his job to help the two sides figure it out. If he wants to be in Cleveland, he needs to communicate to Scott Boras that he needs to get a deal done.
Word is the Indians have offered a five year deal with an option year for a sixth. It would take away one guaranteed free agent year and another if the club were to pick up the option. Obviously Boras' goal is to get his players to free agency as soon as possible, so I'm damn sure he himself would never agree to a deal that took up one single free agent year.
But if CHOO himself wants a five year deal, then Choo needs to tell Boras that. This is what angers me most about players. Their lack of interest in contract negotiations. Communicate with your agent, explain your desires to him. Why are players so disinterested in WHERE they play and more interested in just seeing these agents get as much money as possible?
The Indians will not agree to a deal that is less than five years long. Taking away just the arbitration years is not beneficial to them in the least bit. They could just not extend him if they were going to do that. If Choo wants to negotiate a long term contract, he will need to sign over some of his free agent time.
It is depressing to see this. I like Choo. He's a good kid with a personality and he seems like he genuinely loves the situation he is in. To see them "not have any interest" in a deal like this is concerning for his long term future with the club and certainly doesn't spell good things about anything getting done in the near future or even period with Choo and the Indians.
Terry Pluto doesn't seem to think the long-term answer at second is Luis Valbuena. While I like Louie, this is something I've agreed with for some time now. Pluto hasn't seen anything that has stuck out in the past week, but he does remind us that Val is just 23 years old. Another reason that Grudzielanek should make this team.
Pluto also mentions Jason Donald, who I think is actually the short-term solution beyond this season. I really like Donald a lot. I want to wait until we see how he does at Columbus, but I'm a big Donald fan early.
Today, David Huff makes his final claim for the rotation spot that we all assume is his against Chicago. It will be a home nod at Goodyear, back at the regular 4:00 PM start time (eastern).
Jake Westbrook also goes for a minor league team, his final warm up before he takes the mound opening day against these same White Sox. He isn't pitching against the White Sox so they don't get an early look at him. Westbrook will make his second opening day start, his last came against the same opponent he'll be facing on Monday, Mark Buehrle. The other matchups have been announced: Fausto Carmona Vs Jake Peavy and Justin Masterson Vs Gavin Floyd.
Speaking of minor league games.. Russell Branyan got four at-bats in Triple-A game against Cincinnati's Louisville squad. Branyan hit a home run and walked and was 2-3 on the day.
Finally, I know it is a bad time to not plan on updating, but if I don't prepare something tonight (which I might not), don't expect an update until Thursday night. I have a dentist appointment after class tomorrow, so I really am not going to press to get something up. The Indians will be in Los Angeles on Thursday night for an exhibition contest, as well as in Tempe to face the Angels in a split-squad game.
Who knows when we will get the big roster decisions, especially with the Sowers news leaking today. Definitely expect something Friday, maybe one big update.