Opening day is almost here and we’re excited about the renovations happening at Progressive Field. Here are a few photos of the progress down on Carnegie & Ontario.
Stick to the fastballs, Manny.
Ramirez participated in Dave Ortiz’s annual charity golf outing last week in the Dominican Republic.
No. Or at least I hope not.
Rumors were swirling on Twitter about Bobby Abreu making a comeback to MLB. He didn’t play all of last year and is currently in Venezuela playing winter ball. He is hitting .322/.416/.461 with 10 doubles, three home runs in 50 games played in the Venezuelan Winter League. His numbers weren’t that great during his last stint with the LA Dodgers and Angels in 2012. In 257 at bats he hit .242/.350/.342 with three home runs and six stolen bases.
Now at age 39, his batting average against lefties has plummeted, he’s never been very good in the outfield and his power behind the plate has all but disappeared. With newly signed David Murphy & Jeff Francoeur, Michael Bourn and Michael Brantley in the OF, they don’t need Abreu.
Let’s hope Hoynsie is right that the Tribe is not interested.
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.
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.
It is a well known fact that ball clubs around major league baseball will overpay for their starting rotation. Look no further than the deals that have come about in the past few weeks: Jason Vargas signed a 4 year, $32 million deal, Ricky Nolasco signed a 4 year, $49 million deal, Tim Lincecum received a 2 year, $35 million deal, and Tim Hudson signed a 2 year, $23 million deal.
There are three pitchers who are not on the list and who will be looking for even bigger contracts: Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez. Winter meetings start on Sunday and it could mean that the asking price is about to get a lot bigger for these three. If the market for starting pitchers stays hot then I bet these guys will receive inflated contracts and Ubaldo does not sign with the Tribe. But if teams are unwilling to meet their demands, we may see him in an Indians uniform next season.
There was a lot of chatter about Cleveland signing Tim Hudson, but since he has gone to San Francisco and Scott Kazmir opted for Oakland, the Indians will have to look elsewhere for a starting pitcher. For another team to sign Jimenez means we receive their first round draft pick. There aren’t many clubs that are willing to do that.
To be ready for next season, the Indians will have to sign one more starting pitcher and another relief pitcher to bolster their bullpen. Salazar will fill the void left by Kazmir, but if Ubaldo does not come back to Cleveland, we’ll need another pitcher for the back end of the rotation.
Another option since Kazmir has gone is trading for Brett Anderson. This morning, Buster Olney from ESPN.com posted a tweet saying the Indians & Mariners were interested in signing Anderson.
A lot will be happening in the next few weeks around MLB. Check back here for more updates or follow us on Twitter: @LivingWithCLE.
After releasing Chris Perez, the Indians are on the hunt for a new pitcher to fill the closing roll. The Tribe has talked about trying out Bryan Shaw or Cody Allen, but with a large pool of free agents I expect them to make the attempt to sign one.
GM Antonetti is scheduled to talk to the agent of Brian Wilson and Fernando Rodney. Rodney’s asking price is going to be high and who knows what Brian Wilson will want. He made $1 million this past year, but in 2012 he was owed $8.5 million by the Giants. He was lights out when he came back from the DL putting up a 0.66 ERA in 18 appearances.
The Indians still need a true cleanup hitter who can produce runs. There is a large pool of free agents and hitters on the trade block to go after and I wouldn’t expect Antonetti to attempt to sign Wilson or Rodney right away.
Cleveland Indians’ Kenny Lofton ties the record for consecutive games with a run scored, has four hits including a game winning, walk-off homer and steals five bases!