The Cavs hung on to beat Memphis last night in OT 91-83. Kyrie finished the first quarter with 14 points and by the end of the game he had racked up 28 points & six assists. Cleveland has now won back to back games since firing GM Chris Grant. Make sure to check out Kyrie’s ridiculous layup to send the Cavs to OT & Waiters dunk late last night.
Vinnie Pestano lost his arbitration case recently. He was looking for $1.45M, but will instead receive $975K. Pestano only pitched 35 1/3 innings in 2013, posting a 4.08 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9. He injured his elbow during the World Baseball Classic and changed his delivery, so that may be partly to blame for the inflated ERA.
A Justin Masterson trade is still being talked about. He’s still in an arbitration battle with the Indians and is looking for $11.8M, while the Tribe has offered $8.05M. It’ll be interesting to watch this play out – we know that Masterson will start the season with the Indians. The questions is, will he be dealt midway in 2014?
There is a lot going on with the Browns: Pettine & Shannahan have been hired, Cleveland will have over $45M in cap space to resign or acquire free agents, and Draft Day 2014 is creeping up so speculation on who they will take at #4 is growing louder.
There is still chatter that the Browns will trade up to grab Johnny Manziel at #1 overall, but they could wait until #4 and take Teddy Bridgewater(If the draft gods are correct in their predictions). The Browns currently hold the #4 and #26 overall picks in the 2014 draft.
Devone Bess: He is owed $5.75M this year. Most Clevelanders agree that the Browns will sever ties with the WR on March 11 when the league year begins. The Browns could also file a grievance with the Miami Dolphins, who knew that Bess was hospitalized before being traded to Cleveland.
Honorable Mention: Chud has been hired by the Indianapolis Colts as “Special Assistant to the Head Coach”.
The Pheonix Suns came into Cleveland last night flat footed and the Cavs took advantage of that…for two quarters. After halftime the two teams seemed to have switched roles. Cleveland only scored six points in the third quarter – the lowest by any NBA team this season. They went 2-22 during that quarter and gave up their 20 point half time lead, eventually losing by nine.
“It was hard to watch,” Brown said. “Very disappointing. Our guys should be embarrassed by the way we played in the second half.”
It was hard for fans at the game too. They eventually resorted to booing the home team after their third quarter collapse.
Final Score 99-90.
Looking at the photo below you’d believe the Pro-Bowl was almost a real football game. Teammates were hitting each other. The defenses were actually trying. For the dozen or so Browns fans watching, there was one play that stuck out. T.J. Ward taking out Josh Gordon, sending him flipping through the air.
Ward wasn’t the only Brown to get on the highlight reel. Jordan Cameron had a touchdown in the fourth quarter and finished with 27 total yards. Josh Gordon had 66 yards receiving and a TD. Joe Haden had an interception. TJ Ward had the hit of the game. It was a good night to be a Browns fan.
Team Rice came away with a $53,000 for each player for their 22-21 win and Team Sanders received $23,000 per player.
There have been a lot of small headlines recently surrounding the Indians. Charlie Nagy is back in Cleveland as a pitching instructor. Jim Thome has a statue that will be unveiled in August at Progressive Field and could be headed for the Indians HOF soon.
A bigger headline is the negotiations surrounding Justin Masterson. He is currently in an arbitration battle with the Tribe and is looking for $11.8 million – Cleveland has offered $8.05M. If a deal doesn’t come together soon, things could get ugly. Masterson is looking at a pittcher like Matt Garza, who just received a $50M deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and try to make the point that he’s worth $11M. Would the Tribe trade another ace if negotiations don’t pan out?
Other players that could head towards arbitration hearing with the Indians are Michael Brantley, Josh Tomlin and Vinnie Pestano.
Don’t kid yourself – David Price is a rental. He’s going to require $100 million for up to five years when he hits free agency and it’s unlikely that the Tribe will match that deal. He’s also likely to make $28 million over the next two years. To me it would be a big surprise if the former Cy Young winner ended up in Cleveland and if it costs us two of the best prospects in MLB & a young star like Santana I hope he doesn’t. Price’s agent also said that he wouldn’t sign extensions with certain teams which includes Seattle – and I wouldn’t think Cleveland would be very high on his wishlist.
The Indians currently have an offer our to Joaquin Benoit and have also been connected with former Brewers closer John Axford.
Even though the Tribe hasn’t made any big splashes during the Winter Meetings, you should remember that they signed Nick Swisher around Christmas time last year and they didn’t sign Michael Bourn until February.
Chris Antonetti recently said that he wants Justin Masterson to be an Indian “long term”. This is a tricky situation for the Tribe’s front office right now. They are trying to sign Masterson to a multi-year deal so that he doesn’t disappear during free agency, but they are also weighing their trade options just in case they feel he may leave. Cleveland fans hope that a trade isn’t likely to happen, but that won’t stop Antonetti from listening to offers for his number one starter.
If the Tribe were to deal Masterson, it would leave the starting rotation in disarray and would signal from the front office that last year was a fluke, not a building block to another postseason appearance. The Indians have already lost Scott Kazmir to Oakland and it looks as though Ubaldo Jimenez is not going to re-sign.
“Part of my job is to listen and understand how the industry and other teams value our players. There are a lot of guys we’ve talked about – and you guys have asked specifically about for three years – and all of those guys are still here and our answer is the same.” Antonetti told the Plain Dealer.
Cabrera is also a trade target. He’s also scheduled to become a free agent the same time that Masterson is.
This morning Bob Nightengale with USA Today indicated that the New York Yankees were interested in Masterson and that Brett Gardner could be moved to acquire him. Since the Indians have no need for another OF, another team would have to be involved.
There needs to be third team involved for #Yankees to land Masterson since #Indians don't need Gardner
All this trade talk might make one think that the front office is serious about trading Masterson, but if they want to win next season (and I believe they do) then he’ll stay in a Cleveland uniform for at least one more season. Time is on Masterson’s side – his agent indicated he’d like to see where the FA market for pitchers end up. It’s likely if the Indians lure him away from free agency it will be with a $65 million deal or more for at least five years.
But don’t forget our past trades: C.C. Sebathia & Cliff Lee. They were both our number one starters at one time and close to free agency before being traded…let’s hope Masterson doesn’t leave the same way.