Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cruisin'

The Tribe motored out of Detroit with a three game sweep, which should get the month off on the right foot. Even Kasey Blake is making a move to have his name spelled correctly, with a 9 game hitting streak. Another big step was taken as the Tribe won while giving some players some days off (Belliard yesterday and Martinez today).

However, with the A's, Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees all staying hot, the Tribe hasn't moved up much in the standings. But they're taking care of their business and can hope that those teams beat each other up through the end of the season. The Orioles are officially out of the Wild Card (barring a miraculous turnaround) and Minnesota's offense is causing the Twins to go south in the standings.

As promised, following is the list of Free Agents after this season, which I've heard called "thin" and "weak". No argument here with only a couple of attractive names. I would say the Indians' needs would be RF, 1B, backup C, and dealing with the FA pitchers to make sure that the staff stays solid in 2006. So, without further adieu:
Catchers:
Ken Huckaby
Gary Bennett
Kelly Stinnett
Todd Pratt
Ramon Hernandez
Benito Santiago
John Flaherty
Brad Ausmus
Eddie Perez
Mike Piazza
Alberto Castillo
Bengie Molina
Pat Borders
Ivan Rodriguez (Poss. Team Void Option)
Einar Diaz
Todd Greene (Team Option)
Gregg Zaun (Team Option)
Paul Bako
Mike DiFelice

First Base/DH:
Rafael Palmeiro
Jose Offerman
Frank Thomas (Player + Team option)
J.T. Snow
John Olerud
Dave Hansen
Brad Fullmer
Julio Franco
Tim Salmon
Doug Mientkiewicz (Vesting Option)
Kevin Millar
Paul Konerko
Dimitri Young (Team Option)
Scott Hatteberg (Team Option)
Eduardo Perez
Robert Fick
Greg Colbrunn
Mark Sweeney
Tino Martinez (Team Option)
Tony Clark
Travis Lee
Olmedo Saenz
Erubiel Durazo
Brian Buchanan

Second Base:
Ray Durham (Player Option)
Carlos Baerga
Damion Easley
Mark Loretta (Team Option)
Frank Menechino (Team Option)(arb.)
Tony Graffanino
Bret Boone
Todd Walker (Team + Player options)
Eric Young (Team Option)
Damian Jackson
Manny Alexander
Marlon Anderson
Mark Grudzielanek
Pokey Reese (Team Option)
Miguel Cairo
Enrique Wilson
Denny Hocking
Dave Berg
Joe McEwing

Third Base:
Bill Mueller
Lenny Harris
Abraham O. Nunez
Jared Sandberg
Wes Helms
Joe Randa
Chris Stynes
Jeff Cirillo
Geoff Blum
Brandon Larson

Shortstop:
Royce Clayton
Ricky Gutierrez
Jose Vizcaino
Chris Woodward
Alex Gonzalez (FLA)
Nomar Garciaparra
Deivi Cruz
Jose Hernandez
Jose Valentin
Luis Lopez
Ramon Martinez
Alex Gonzalez (TB)
Desi Relaford (Team Option)
Rafael Furcal
Benji Gil
Lou Merloni
Chris Gomez
Rich Aurilia
Rey Sanchez
Neifi Perez

Left Field:
Reggie Sanders
Eli Marrero
John Mabry
B.J. Surhoff
Quinton McCracken
Carlos Lee (Team Option)
Bobby Higginson
Rondell White
Randy Winn (Mutual Option)
Jeff Conine
Todd Hollandsworth

Center Field:
Jacque Jones
Carl Everett (Team Option)
Craig Biggio
Preston Wilson
Kerry Robinson
Jay Payton (Team Option)
Marquis Grissom
Bernie Williams
Kenny Lofton
Roosevelt Brown
Johnny Damon
Dee Brown
Peter Bergeron
Trenidad Hubbard

Right Field:
Michael Tucker
Sammy Sosa (Team Option)
Larry Walker (Team Option)
Juan Encarnacion
Gabe Kapler
Matt Stairs
Orlando Palmeiro
Jose Cruz Jr.
Jacob Cruz
Richard Hidalgo
Dustan Mohr (Mutual Option)
Moises Alou (Player Option)
Jeromy Burntiz (Mutual Option)
Brian Jordan
Matt Lawton
Brian Giles

Pitchers:
RHSP:

Steve Sparks
Pedro Astacio
Andy Ashby
Woody Williams (Team option)
Matt Morris
Scott Elarton
Ariel Prieto
Elmer Dessens (Mutual Option)
A.J. Burnett
Jeff Weaver
Jason Schmidt (Team Option)
Jeff Suppan (Team Option)
John Thomson (Team Option)
Steve Trachsel (Team Option)
Brett Tomko
Kevin Brown
Brian Moehler
Jason Johnson
Paul Byrd
Joe Mays (Team Option)
Aaron Myette
Jamey Wright
Jose Lima
Ismael Valdez
Kevin Millwood
James Baldwin
Rick Helling
Esteban Loaiza (Mutual Option)
Aaron Sele
Roger Clemens
Scott Erickson
Ramon Ortiz (Mutual Option) (arb.)
Tony Armas Jr.
Greg Maddux (Vesting Option)

LHSP:
Dennys Reyes
Kazuhisa Ishii (Team Option)
Tom Glavine (Mutual Option)
Al Leiter
Brian Anderson
Mark Redman (Mutual Option + Player Option)
Jamie Moyer
Kenny Rogers
Kirk Reuter
Ted Lilly
John Halama (Mutual Option)
Shawn Estes
Jarrod Washburn
Glendon Rusch (Player Option)

LHRP:
Jamie Walker (Team option) (arb)
Donovan Osborne
Scott Eyre
Valerio de Los Santos
Mike Stanton
Mike Remlinger
Felix Heredia (Team Option)
Alan Embree
Joey Eischen
Ricardo Rincon
Scott Sauerbeck
Terry Mulholland
Mike Myers
Jason Christiansen (Team Option)
Chris Hammond
John Franco
Mike Matthews
Buddy Groom
B.J. Ryan
Tom Martin
C.J. Nitkowski
Gabe White

RHRP:
Bob Howry
Dan Miceli
Danny Graves (Team Option)
Byung-Hyun Kim
Grant Roberts
Mike DeJean
Kyle Farnsworth
Cal Eldred
Steve Karsay
Russ Springer
Ryan Dempster
Julian Tavarez
Tim Worrell
Felix Rodriguez
Paul Quantrill
Tom Gordon
Mike Timlin
Scott Sullivan (Team or Player Option)
Doug Brocail
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (Vesting Option)
LaTroy Hawkins (Player Option)
Matt Herges
Lou Pote
Rudy Seanez
Jason Grimsley
Todd Jones
Shingo Takatsu (arb)
Al Reyes
David Weathers (Team Option)
Antonio Alfonseca (Vesting Option)
Brian Meadows
Terry Adams
Chad Fox
Roberto Hernandez
Scott Williamson (Team Option)
Jay Witasick
Antonio Osuna
Ricky Bottalico
Steve Reed (Mutual Option)
Jay Powell
Jeff Nelson
Jim Mecir
Kerry Ligtenberg

Closer:
Trevor Hoffman
Octavio Dotel (Rehab)
Braden Looper (Team Option)
Billy Wagner
Jose Mesa (Team Option)
Bob Wickman
Eddie Guardado (Mutual Option + Player Option)
Ugeuth Urbina
Matt Mantei
Danys Baez (Team Option) (arb)

After viewing the list, I was struck at how many of the more attractive names (Millwood, Howry, Sauerbeck, Elarton, Wickman) are OUR players.
Terry Pluto's column this morning mentioned that Elarton is inclined to re-sign with the Tribe, as reward for sticking with him. It doesn't hurt that Elarton is represented by Shapiro's father's agency.
I still would like to see them re-sign Millwood, to make that big splash for the fans. I would give him a 3 year deal worth $9-$10 million per.
Wickman's possible return seems more based on his willingness to pitch another year and Howry may have pitched himself into closing for someone next year (maybe at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario?)

As for the position players on the list, no name jumps off of the screen. Jacque Jones, Juan Encarnacion, Preston Wilson, Reggie Sanders and Brian Giles all would look nice in RF; but we're not talking Vlad Guerrero here. That's why I'm more inclined to think that Shapiro will make a deal (giving up some young pitchers) to acquire a young bat to fit into the lineup. The Rangers reportedly broke off contract extension talks with Kevin Mench, which means that he may be available in the offseason.
Additionally, I don't see a 1B that is an automatic, leading me to believe that Broussard and Garko will platoon next year, if Garko isn't given every chance to win the job in Spring Training.
As for backup catcher, Josh Bard (as bad as he is offensively) rates pretty comparably to those listed.

The next 6 games are against the Royals (who just made wholesale call-ups from the minors) and the lowly Devil Rays. The Indians stand at 60-52 with 22 games remaining in August. With the weakness of the schedule, there's no reason they can't go 15-7 in that stretch (at the worst) to end the month at 75-59. We'll see if that's enough to pack the Jake in September.

Did someone say we'd be contending in 2005?

7 comments:

tb said...

in related news, after coming out of my batcave as i was fighting off the effects of camp krusty after the sweep had just been secured, range was out in our living room watching nothing but, you guessed it, naked gun. i felt like jumping up and clicking my heels, but didnt have the energy.

tb said...

check out the story i have linked from my name, got it from sportsbybrooks.com

baltimoran said...

As Millwood is probably the most attractive (pitching, not good looks) starter on the list, he will most likely be cashing fat checks from New York next year. Hopefully the story on Elarton is correct,JD or someone is ready to step up next year, and we can keep Saurbeck and Howry. I don't think even a 30 game hitting street by blake could keep mgt. from upgrading rt. field. i hope we get past 1.9 million in attendance so there are no excuses this summer.

Cy Slapnicka said...

i think what the baltimorian was saying was he wants to take it from behind from millWOOD. he said this about dave matthews once too. based on the events that took place after the first statement of man-love, we can fully expect millwood to sell out and sign with the yankees and produce mediocre starts for the rest of his career. however i'd love to have millwood back. giles would look good in the outfield at the jake.

while i am juiced about the wins lately, how ridiculous have the A's been? 37-8 over the last 45?!? We might end up battling the Angels for the wild card.

also, does anyone else notice how the cleveland media has been virtually ignoring dilfer and only pays attention to Frye?

baltimoran said...

maybe you missed the huge cabot article on dilfer's career and personal life as well as the reactions from readers of this article? maybe you were too busy fantasizing about brian giles in a tank top?

Rockdawg said...

Quote form Sportscenter today. "In the AL wild card race, it's probably gonna be either the A's or the Angels, or perhaps the Yankees, who are 4 games back." No respect for the Tribe after the sweep.

Cy Slapnicka said...

apparently you missed how i said "media" and not fluff piece writers. cabot is awful. if she was a horse, i'd shoot her.

i suppose your retort will be that roger brown wrote an article on him too. my response? see message above.

and brian giles would look great in a tank top and some hot pants.