Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back to Wicky

Trevor Hoffman decided to stay with the Padres, basing his decision more on family and locale than the guaranteed 3rd year that the Tribe offered him. I realize that Cleveland is no San Diego, but when will Clevelanders EVER see that home-team loyalty?

Shapiro and the boys went after HOFfman (get it, Hall of Fame?) pretty hard and must be frustrated to have him return to the Left Coast. The guaranteed 3rd year was surprising, but Shapiro has always said that he might go out of his "comfort zone" to make the right signing. I think that the guaranteed 3rd year falls into that category.

The pursuit of Hoffman should also serve notice that the Indians are willing to spend money, it's just that thus far they've been foiled by lunacy (B.J. Ryan's deal) and loyalty (Hoffman).

With all of that being said and the understanding that Hoffman would have been a great signing, the 3rd year worried me. You're paying a 41-year old $8M, and hoping that he stays healthy. What are we, the Knicks?

The contracts that closers have gotten this off-season are ridiculous and the re-entry of the Padres into the Hoffman talks pushed the Hoffman contract to those heights...not B.J. Ryan, Tom Gordon (another 38-year old given a contract with too many years), but a lot of money and a lot of years for a 38-year old.

Now, the Indians go back to that Beer Keg of a man, Sticky Wicky, to close games. The Indians will offer him arbitration before midnight, which will net Wickman a 1-year deal in the $7M range. Looking at the alternatives (Todd Jones), let's just hope that the winter in Wisconsin is REAL cold, so Bobby wants to come to Spring Training next year instead of staying in the Land of Beer and Cheese to shoot pheasant.

Wickman, for all of his warts, was an effective closer last year. He saved 45 games! Yes, he's a year older (and heavier), but now I can still sport my Wickmans' Warriors shirt proudly for another year. Maybe we should just tell Nursing Homes and Cardiac Units to show the first 8 innings of a game next summer.

With Hoffman's spurning of the Tribe, expect Shapiro to be very busy before the close of the Winter Meetings. One would think that the money that was earmarked for Hoffman may be thrown in another direction, whether it be a FA or a salary absorption via trade.

Penciling Wickman into the back end means that there are very few holes remaining on this team, with about $8M-$10M to fill them.

Go get 'em Mark! Show 'em why you're Executive of the Year!


david said...

We don't know how much Hoffman turned down, but assuming it was around $8 million a year that was earmarked for him, it doesn't follow to say that money is available to spend elsewhere. It still has to go to a closer, and that will likely be Wickman. So, unfortunately, I don't see the Indians in a position to make a whole lot of extra moves just because Hoffman dissed us. It would be in their best interest to, since Byrd and Wick are not exactly going to cause a mad rush to buy tickets, but I think the most likely route to improve the team is now through trades.

Baltimoran said...

only thing that makes me happy is thinking of Ron Burgundy and his apartment that smells like rich mohagony

"go f#%@ yourself San Diego"

Cy Slapnicka said...

Time to stock up on Rolaids...

As if their weather and women in bikinis aren't enough to drive us insane this time of year, they have to hog Giles and Hoffman too. Jerks.

The only thing that could make me smile about this would be if Dolan was seen around town wearing a t-shirt that said "My GM went to San Diego and all I got was this F-in t-shirt!"

Rockdawg said...

I don't know how many children use this blog (besides bachtel), but I say, cuss away.