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.
Biggest move so far: Gavin Floyd Signing
Cleveland also traded for Brandon Moss, but the Indians need to build their rotation around Kluber and Floyd has the potential to be this year’s Scott Kazmir.
It is filled with incentives:
Floyd went through and extensive physical and is expected to be ready for Spring Training. This was his second season in a row was cut short due to injury and he went through Tommy John surgery in the off season. Last year he went 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 54.1 innings over just nine starts.
Starting rotation for 2015 looks like this:
Notable: Jason Kipnis has surgery on tendon in ring finger, will be ready for Spring Training
Possible: Trade David Murphy
Brandon Moss is 31. David Murphy is 33. Both are going to be vying for time in the outfield on an already crowded roster. The question becomes “Would you rather have David Murphy or Brandon Moss in the outfield?”. Personally, I’d take the chance on Moss. He also has the ability to play first base.
He’s averaged 25 homers, 76 RBI, batting .254 during his last three seasons in Oakland while Murphy has averaged 12 HR & 56 RBI during his past five years. Cleveland may be able to get another starting pitcher for Murphy.
Three players in each position were named as finalists for the Gold Glove Award today.
Among them, Catcher Yan Gomes and left fielder Michael Brantley were both named as finalists for the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
The winners will be named on November 4 at 7PM on ESPN2.
The Indians dropped the series to Detroit last night 3-1 after the Tigers scored seven runs in the 11th inning to eventually take the win. Cleveland was outscored during the series 27-14. They are now five games behind Detroit and six games behind the Royals in the Central Division.
Trevor Bauer struggled out of the gate, allowing four runs in the first inning while facing ten batters. Bauer has now given up 16 ER in 22 starts this season and his opponents are hitting .282 against him in the first inning.
The Tribe is still in the Wild Card hunt, but it’s going to be a tough road ahead for them. They’ll see the Tigers again next weekend and will play both the Royals and Tampa Bay at the end of the month.
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.
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.