Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Kellen Winslow-Free Lazy Sunday

Since all week long, the “experts” forecasted a rainy weekend and the sun is out for the second straight day, let’s get right to it as there are leaves to rake, a lawn to cut, and pumpkins to carve on a glorious Fall afternoon.
Regardless of my “to-do” list, we’re off:

Taking it from the top, Terry Pluto says that, after the year-end organizational meetings, the need for a #3 starter has become the team’s top priority. He goes further to say that a “Paul Byrd-type” would be the ideal for the Tribe, working on a short-term deal. Of course, as has been said many times here, the FA pitching market is underwhelming this year in terms of those “types” of starters and the level above them are all looking for 4 to 5 year deals in a market (as always) hungry for arms. Pluto mentions Dave Huff, who may project as a #3 starter (or better) down the road. But I’d be surprised if the Indians are content to leave Goodyear with Huff being counted on to stabilize the middle of the rotation.

The more this starting pitching thing gets examined, the more I think that Shapiro and the boys are going to get creative to fill the hole in the rotation and spend the money in FA on the other holes on the team, notably the bullpen (although Pluto asserts in the same piece that many on the coaching staff think Jenny Lew can do the job as the closer in 2009) and the infield.

Speaking of the bullpen and infield, Jon Heyman puts the Tribe among the three top teams looking at Rockies’ closer Brian Fuentes. Heyman lists Fuentes’ asking price around 3 years and $36M, which looks awfully palatable against K-Rod’s wishes of 5 years and $75M. The key to the Fuentes deal (or any other reliever or closer that the Indians look at) is the years, given the volatility of relievers in general and particularly considering that not too many FA relievers are on the south side of 30. Heyman also puts the approximate price tag of “a potential $10M” on Orlando Hudson when asserting that the Mets having to eat $6M in Luis Castillo’s salary may make Hudson less of a likelihood in Queens.

Let’s for a moment assume that Heyman is right about his Fuentes projection and that he’s close on his Hudson projection in terms of money. If we’re making that assumption, Fuentes would cost $36M over 3 years and Hudson would cost about the same in terms of both money and years.
Say that the same amount of money could get you one of them…which one’s donning the Chief in 2009?

Back to the potential trade front, Tony Massarotti in Boston doesn’t think that the Red Sox will be looking to make a big upgrade at catcher, instead focusing on bolstering the middle of the lineup given the uncertain status of Mike Lowell and the health concerns surrounding David Ortiz. How does this relate to the Indians? Many have speculated that with Jason Varitek likely to leave Boston, a natural fit in a trade would be Kelly Shoppach returning to the organization that drafted and developed him. Certainly the Red Sox would have the young pieces to put together in a deal, but the Rangers look like a more natural fit as they wouldn’t ask for as much for Gerald Laird as the Tribe would for Shoppach and the Red Sox may (as Massarotti believes) have catching far down on their priority list.

Also on the trade front, the Fish are reportedly looking to cut bait with one of their young starters, though the player that keeps coming up as being available is Scott Olsen, and not Ricky Nolasco or Josh Johnson. Olsen has had some…um, “discipline issues” and while he’s a young lefty, we’re kind of stocked up with them. So unless the team would see him as a major upgrade over the in-house options of Laffey or Huff, I don’t see Olsen being the answer to the middle of the rotation question. Ricky Nolasco (if the Indians could EVER pry him out of South Florida) is another story entirely as over his last 146 IP last year he struck out 146 and walked…wait for it…17. With a WHIP of 0.92 from the beginning of June to the end of the season, let me just be the first to tell Kelly and Frank that they’re going to love South Beach.

Having nothing to do with the trade front, in case you missed the LGT’s Jay Levin taking a crack at Paul Hoynes’ mailbag from last week, here’s your chance as Levin replies in the frank manner that most people would probably react more favorably to than the cursory (and often bitter) way that Hoynes usually responds that always seems holier-than-thou. It sure is a lot more entertaining and informative than the “Hey Hoynsie” that I refuse to link.

Despite the fact that this isn’t a “new” post by Joe Posnanski, it bears linking (if only because I forgot to last week) as he recounts his trips to the Cleveland-area library he grew up visiting. A terrific read from JoePos (as if that should be a surprise) with the bonus of Posnanski’s profile of Matt Christopher (yes, the guy who wrote all those sports books you read in grade school) from 20 years ago.

Finally, SuperSizemore makes an appearance in Men’s Vogue this month, apparently after “much pleading from his agent”. The photo that goes along with the article (linked here) is shown to the right with Grady, sporting a fresh haircut, in a $2,000 jacket and $1,225 pants. I love the fact that he’s at Steve’s Lunch, though I’ve never seen girls like the one on Grady’s side when I’m putting some down some mid-day dogs at Steve’s.
I’m not sure why it took so “much pleading from his agent”, it’s not like there are any of these photo shoots that people end up regretting.
It’s not like Cosmo was working the camera or anything…

1 comment:

Alvaro Espinoza said...

Paul,

Great Blog. I've been reading for awhile now, but this is my first time commenting. Any thoughts on the reports coming out from the Kansas City Star and Rotoworld about the possible Mark Teahen deal for either Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco or Trevor Crowe?

Thanks

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