Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Byrd Droppings

Some thoughts on the Byrd signing and the rotation:
In case you missed it, Paul Byrd signed a 2-year, $14.25M deal, with an option for a third year.

According to Eric Wedge on WTAM, he left more money (and a guaranteed 3rd year) on the table from the Royals and another team to enter the Teepee.

Before Byrd is decried as a “cheap” alternative to re-signing Millwood, consider this: Millwood had 20 Quality Starts last year. Paul Byrd? 22. Not bad, considering that the Indians are only committed for 2 years, as opposed to the 5 years that some team will (apparently) give K-Mill.

I realize that Byrd is 35 and Millwood is 31 and that they've both had serious arm injuries, but Byrd has pitched 1,111 2/3 career innings to Millwood's 1,559 1/3. Ever hear the analogy that there are only so many bullets in a gun? Plus, pitchers who go through Tommy John earl in their career are alleged to have stronger arms after their extended rehab (I'm not a doctor, just something that I've heard). Now I'm not discounting the fact that Millwood is a great pitcher who pitched very well for the Indians last year, I'm only saying that the deal that Byrd got will be very reasonable when compared to the deal that Millwood will get.

But where does Byrd fit into the rotation? #2? #4? The only comments that I’ve heard on this are Wedge’s comments that he likes to give different looks during a series, which is to say he likes to split up his lefties and will not throw sinkerballers (Westbrook & Byrd) on consecutive days. Now, I don’t know if they’ll sign another SP (though it seems unlikely), but I would say it would be C.C./Byrd/Lee/Westbrook/Internal Candidate.

So, who will be this Internal Candidate? The top candidates would be Carmona and Sowers, because I think that JDavis (if he remains on the Tribe and is not included in a deal for a bat) will end up in the bullpen.

Elarton is still a possibility at #5, but a lot will depend on how much the Tribe pays for a closer and if they acquire a bat that costs some bucks. Elarton is apparently still looking for that elusive 2-year deal, while the Tribe is firm on a 1-year. Let's stick to those guns.

Overall, I like the Byrd signing and the rumors that the Indians are pursuing Vazquez (which is all just conjecture at this point) show that the Indians are not content to sit on their hands at the Winter Meetings.

On the Hoffman front, he is reported to be undergoing a physical in the next few days (which is usually an indication that talks are serious) in Cleveland. The Padres could swoop in and match the Tribe offer (which is reportedly getting bigger and bigger), but the fact that he's taking a physical shows that the Indians are a definite player in these talks. Expect this to all shake out by Wednesday or Thursday, for better or worse.

Hot Stove League talk, pull up a chair and warm yourself next to it.


t-bone said...

as of 3:36pm Wednesday still no news on Hoffman. I dont know if i have ever hit reload on espn.com ever in one day. It's gotta happen in the next few hours, though, with the arbitration deadling on Wickman at midnight.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Probably wouldn't matter, the jerks in Bristol probably make you pay to be an Insider even for information like that these days!

Can you imagine being a Marlins fan these days? No wonder baseball owners don't want to share revenue.