Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lazy Sloopy

With the Buckeyes heading to Glendale, let’s head into a Lazy Sloopy:
Paul Hoynes speculates that the Indians may be interested in Japanese LHP Kei Igawa as a bullpen option for this year. Igawa has been a starter throughout his Japanese League career, so it’s possible that the Indians use him in a middle relief role with the possibility of moving into the starting rotation if he finds success in the States.

Has Terry Pluto been reading the DiaTribe? He suggests that the Indians will be making their acquisitions via trade as the FA market has spun out of control. He sees guys like Frank the Tank, Guthrie and others as trade bait, though it’s debatable what these players will bring in deals.

He also reports that lots of teams are asking about Westbrook and Lee, which seems to be gaining momentum in some circles. The argument with Westbrook is that 2007 is his contract year and that the Indians should get something for him before he leaves via Free Agency.

This thinking drives me crazy as it reeks of a team in perpetual rebuilding mode. This team has rebuilt and is now ready to take the next step towards perpetual CONTENDING.

When is the moment that the Indians stop saying, "We are going to explore trading our own players, who we would like to sign, but are going to prove to be too expensive on the FA market, while we can still get them for something"?

Or, when does the discussion focus on locking up a guy like Westbrook or C.C. (players already here, under our control) for more years as opposed to what can we get for Westbrook now before we lose him to FA?

As long as it's a player we want to keep at a contract that isn't completely outrageous, I'd like to see this be the off-season.

They did it with C.C. once and have locked up the arbitration years of many of their young players, but I think that this NEEDS to be the off-season that the bona-fide core of the team is locked up through their late 20's and early 30's.

Enough of the trade talks involving guys like Westbrook and Lee (unless the return knocks us off of our barstools) because teams that contend have teams like Westbrook and Lee on their roster, not a few prospects acquired from trading them on their roster.

Off of the soapbox, Moises Alou is reportedly close to signing a 2-year deal with the Mets for less money than the Indians and Rangers were offering. While Alou would be a nice RH addition to the lineup, he’s a 40-year old on the downside of his career. Not the kind of guy you want to see a 2-year deal given to, regardless of past production.

Finally, Top Prospect Alert has emerged with the first 2007 list of the top 10 Tribe Prospects.

The list contains a number of lower minor league prospects (only 3 have played at or above AA) and it’s not hard to figure why – guys like Gutierrez, Sowers, and Cabrera can no longer be considered prospects. It’s now to the point that these players need to prove whether the hype bestowed upon them was deserved or just hot air.

Top prospect lists are always interesting to revisit, as the 2005 Baseball America list is (courtesy the Akron Aeros site) to see how the players have panned out.

From the 2005 list - guys like Gutierrez, Aubrey, Snyder, Pesco, and Brown have seen the luster come off of their stars. However, the others – Miller, Sowers, Carmona, Cabrera, and Garko are still seen as legitimate parts of this team going forward.

What’s interesting is that the list is only 2 years old and so much has changed. If the Indians are going to deal some prospects this off-season, it’s up to the Front Office and the Scouting Department to move the Snyders and Pescos while their value is at it’s peak rather than the Sowers and Garkos, whose development factors into the 2007 season and beyond.

One big game down this weekend (with the desired results), one to go.

1 comment:

T-Bone said...

Interesting blog comparing the performance and salaries or Soriano and Grady here.