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3.30.2012

Spring Training Rundown: Indians Complete Trade, Balk On Abreu

Nino Colla | Friday, March 30, 2012 | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
No time to lose friends, it's a busy morning in the land of the Tribe. Before the night was over, the Indians appeared to be on the verge of making a move to fill their left field void. When they day started, they made a move to fill their empty bullpen hearts.



[ABREU, CROWE, WHATSAGOINGON!?]

Just before Nino's bedtime, Jon Heyman of CBSSports started fiddling around with Bobby Abreu, saying that the Indians and Angels were "on the verge" of an Abreu trade. He then proceeded to tweet as if the deal was going to be finalized and that once it is completed, everyone will benefit. Then there was some rumblings from the FOX crew of Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal that Trevor Crowe was being dealt, but it was unclear if it was to the Angels for Abreu

Oops...

Of course if you read MLB.com's story, there seems to be an indication that the Indians and Angels were talking and that the Angels would pretty much pay his salary. That would make sense if Trevor Crowe were to be in the deal, but if the Angels are getting rid of one outfielder, why would they want another? Granted Abreu would likely just DH for them most of the time, they seem to have enough options with Pujols shifting Kendry Morales around the diamond.

There's no point getting into the numbers or specifics since the deal has apparently broken down. There seems to be a hang up on why. Some say a Trevor Crowe trade failed and that has caused the Indians to back out, while others are saying there was a tie-up in the money the Angels would be paying for the Indians to take Abreu of their hands.

Then of course, Bastian chimes in, saying that the deal and the talks may have just been premature.

All of this, causing me to go to bed a half-hour later than I wanted to, still not knowing if anything was going to get done. Yeah.

All in all, it seemed like a few moments later after Jon Heyman mentioned that the Angels were trying to trade Abreu and the Indians were looking for a bat, he had a "rumor" that they were "on the verge" of a deal.

But if you believe Bastian, and I tend to believe him more than I do Heyman, the report is premature and there was no real "closeness" to the deal actually getting completed.

Now that isn't to say a deal still couldn't get done, because Abreu fits in for what the Indians need, and the Angels are A) Trying to get rid of him and B) Willing to eat most of his salary. We'll just have to see if this deal gets resurrected (or in this case, kick-started) because most deals that "die" or are "close" to happening, but don't happen, usually don't end up happening.

And that my friends is why I was tweeting about Beau Mills last night, and not Bobby Abreu.

[INDIANS ACQUIRE VALDEZ, ERR ASENCIO]
Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports

Before the Indians got caught up in this Bobby Abreu hoopla, they went ahead and made a smaller move, adding relief pitcher Jairo Asencio from the Braves for cash. Asencio comes over from Atlanta with no options and is now on the 40-man roster after the Indians DFA'ed Henricus van den Hurk (Hernicus Copernicus extraordinaire).

The big thing with Asencio is that he used to go by the name Luis Valdez prior to 2010. He missed that season due to visa issues and then ended up back with Atlanta as Jairo Asencio.

At least they acquired him before his age went up... ba-ding-tish.

In all seriousness, Ascenio goes right into that battle for the two bullpen spots and may in fact just outright claim one because he's been pitching well this spring.

Accardo: 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, 1 BB
Asencio: 11 IP, 4 ER, 12 K, 3 BB (With Braves)
Hagadone: 10.2 IP, 3 R, 8 K, 3 BB
Herrmann: 9.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 K, 1 BB
Ray: 10 IP, 13 ER, 7 K, 5 BB
Wheeler: 9 IP, 8 ER, 9 K, 3 BB

Asencio struck out 70 hitters in 54+ innings for the Gwinnett Braves in the International League last season. He also lead the league in saves for the second time in his career. His numbers look really similar to CC Lee in that he just piles up the strikeouts. Looks good to me. Ascenio turns 28 in May, or at least that's what we're led to believe.

[GAME RUNDOWN - HUFF/LOWE EXIT]

Thursday was a split squad game that saw the Indians drop a pair, one to the Rockies 6-3 and another to the Diamondbacks 5-4.

There were several early exits. Against the Rockies, Derek Lowe exited after just three innings (three hits, two runs, two strikeouts, no walks) with the Indians citing precautionary action due to some back tightness. Perhaps it's important to note that Derek Lowe has never been on the Disabled List in his career. That's A) pretty impressive and B) makes it pretty likely that if his streak were to end, it would be with the Indians.

David Huff meanwhile gave up one hit and was done for the day after he left with a right hamstring strain. His chances of winning a rotation spot are all but done and it of course may even prevent him from starting the season right away if it's serious.

Against the Rockies, Michael Brantley hit a solo shot, which is great to see as he returns from a hamstring injury of his own. He was outdone big time though by Big Bad Beau Mills who hit a pair of home runs. Beau will be in Columbus trying to steal time away from Matt LaPorta and likely, Russ Canzler, who was the reason Beau got to play because he was away with his wife for the birth of their child.

Jason Donald had a game, going 4-5 with a few runs scored and a pair of doubles. Casey Kotchman knocked in a pair of runs and was 2-4 with a double.

Jeremy Accardo pitched two scoreless innings.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

The following were released by the Indians in the past few days:

C Moises Montero, 1B Chase Burnette, IF Chin-Lung Hu, OF Brian Heere, OF Henry Dunn, RHP Nate Striz, RHP Tony Dischler, RHP Will Krasne, RHP Nick Sarianides, RHP Drew Rucinski.

Most of the times these are just names, but now with Twitter, they're a little more than that. Will Krasne was someone who the Indians signed last year on an undrafted deal. You may follow him @PinkPoloShorts and if you do, you are entertained by him. I personally connected with him and while I don't know Will at all, I feel for him because his dream of playing major league baseball could very well be over.

On a side note, Tony Dischler is a little bit of a surprise as they signed him to a decent contract just one draft ago. Nate Striz was in that same boat, not as much money, but a little surprising.

Did the Indians bring Sandy Alomar Jr. on at the right time or what? Just when Carlos Santana was starting to make his ascension up to Cleveland, it seemed like perfect timing.

"You couldn't find a better guy to teach you," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "He's been very important to Carlos."

Santana has reportedly made strides behind the plate in terms of throwing runners out this spring. Much of which you can probably attribute to Alomar's work with him the past few seasons.

"We know that consistently now, he's getting it," Alomar said. "I tell him all he has to do is get the ball in the air. The more movement you have, the more adjusting you have to make. Try to have less moment. When he waits for the ball, he's great."

I'd say it's all pretty good progress for a kid who didn't want to play Catcher. Reminds me a lot of Victor Martinez, who wanted to be a shortstop. Now that's funny.

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