Still nothing from Tribe offices, though there has been some movement that could affect the Indians' plans:
- Reggie Sanders, a target for RF, has reportedly signed a 2 year deal with the Royals worth about $10M. The second year probably scared the Tribe off and rightly so, seeing as how Sanders is 37.
- Jacque Jones went to the Cubs and, while he wasn't a target of the Tribe, forced the Twins to take a chance on Rondell White as his replacement. Both players probably on the periphery of potential Tribe OFs. Thank goodness the Tribe didn't get in on either one of these guys, particluarly the erratic White. The fact that the Twins added him as their "big bat" makes me feel even better that the Twins' window may be coming closer to closing.
- Johnny Damon signed a 4 year, $52M deal with the Evil Empire, giving them an All-Star at every position with questionable starting pitching. How many rings did that strategy net for the Tribe in the '90s?
That's why the Indians are in a position commonly referred to (particularly by John Goodman's character in all-time fave Raising Arizona) as "sitting in the fabled catbird's seat".
The Red Sox know that they have to make a move or risk a huge PR disaster (which sometimes seems to be their main concern). The Indians can sit and demand any combination of players that they want. If the Red Sox comply, great. If not, fine; we'll go into next season with Coco.
Shapiro is really in a great spot here, where he's able to call the shots and can make a ridiculous demand and see how its received. He can ask about Andy Marte and Matt Clement and Bronson Arroyo and Guillermo Mota and see what sticks.
What the Red Sox have done is a classic Butch Davis move. They've underestimated their own players, then panicking when they lose them, they're forced to reach or overpay for a replacement. Does anyone remember the drafting of Jeff Faine to replace Dave Wohlabaugh or Ryan Pontbriand (the famous 5th round Long Snapper) to repalce Ryan Kuehl? It just so happens that Cleveland could be on the receiving end of the windfall, rather than in our usual position, holding the short end of the stick.
Whether Coco gets traded or not, I put trust in Shapiro to make (or not make) the move that is going to benefit the team, not only in 2006 but beyond. Remeber that Preston Wilson, Juan Encarnacion, and the possibility of making a trade not involving Coco are still very real possibilities.
Nothing's happened yet, though, and the deadline of Christmas (that Shapiro mentioned numerous times in interviews) is quickly approaching.
Personally, I'll be celebrating Christmas in Milwaukee which (while it is no Christmas in Hollis) always turns into a fantastic time as the in-laws and siblings-in-law always keep the High Life cold.
Merry Christmas to All!