A couple of tomahawks with all of the happenings approaching the Winter Meetings:
- Ken Rosenthal of FSN is reporting that the Indians are the leader in the clubhouse for Hoffman. It sounds like it might take a guaranteed 3rd year at $8M per to get the deal done, only because the market drops off quickly after Hoffman (Todd Jones), and most teams are trying to get in on the Hoffman talks.
- Another Wedge comment from tonight is a great line, “You don’t want to be high bidders in a bad market.” The FA market is very thin this year, so you don’t want to overpay for a player who normally would be a January signee in a strong FA market. That being said, I don’t think that Byrd was that much of a reach. Seeing what Loaiza got puts the Byrd deal in perspective. Yes, Byrd got a healthy chunk of change, but his history and postseason experience.
Mark Shapiro had a Q & A on the official site, which was full of Shapiro speak (lots of words, not really much said). A few interesting nuggets though:
- David Riske’s name did not come up in discussions on the pen (nor did Wedge bring it up in today’s interview). I think that Riske will be packaged for a bat this week. Whether it will be the bat that everyone wants remains to be seen.
- Ryan Garko-my-god-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that (say it out loud and let me know what you think…$1 to Cy Slapnicka on the nickname) is NOT ready defensively to play 1B at the big-league level, which would lead me to believe that the Tribe will try to acquire a RF and let Blake and Broussard platoon at 1B until Garko has proven himself defensively.
- He listed Carmona, Sowers, Garko, and Gutierrez (in that order) as prospects ready to contribute. No Guthrie, no Andrew Brown. By the way, Gutierrez has (allegedly) fixed the hitch in his swing this off-season and is tearing the cover off the ball. We’ll see if it translates to Buffalo, but he may be 1st option when someone (usually Coco in an incident with a wall) gets hurt.
- The Indians were mentioned in Barry Zito and Javier Vazquez rumors (though I don’t know what the Byrd signing does to that) on the rotation front.
- Available bats who might appeal to the Tribe would be Aubrey Huff (in a too crowded Tampa Bay outfield), Lyle Overbay (though the Brew Crew is looking for a lot), Kevin Mench (where has that name come up before?) and Austin Kearns (see Mench, Kevin).
- Stark lists Blake, Broussard, and Riske as Indians that could move.
- Interestingly, some of the big-time FA pitchers who signed last year (who this time last year were seen as players the Tribe should sign) are being shopped after just one season. Carl Pavano, Matt Clement, Jaret Wright, Kris Benson are all available, so do you think that the those teams are happy with their big FA signings from less than a year ago?
The highlight of the Browns’ game yesterday (which was not as cold as the Rams’ MNF game from a few years ago, but cold enough) was highlighted by the arrival of Charlie and the happenstance meeting in section 528 with a friend that now lives in Madison, WI. I’m not talking about anything else that happened during the game, after the game, at the Cleveland Clinic on Sunday night, or any announcement pertaining to the visit to the Clinic on Sunday.
How many days until Pitchers and Catchers report?