"The mail never stops!"
Thought I’d take some bonus mailbag questions today. Please keep your questions coming for the next edition of the mailbag on the site, which runs a week from today. Send the questions to email@example.com, and don’t forget to include your first name, last initial and hometown…
Do you think if the Tribe doesn’t turn it around quickly and in a hurry the front office will start taking offers to trade C.C.? — Kenny K., Elyria, Ohio
The Indians, according to reports, have already begun getting a sense of what other clubs might have to offer for Sabathia.
But as I wrote in last week’s mailbag, don’t expect much of a return for him, unless it’s a rare “sign and trade” situation. Sabathia would be a two- or three-month rental for a contending club. If you think the Indians can turn this current season around by trading Sabathia for a bat, you’re dreaming. Every club is hurting for offense, and there will be few, if any, big bats available in the trade market.
Now that Jake Westbrook’s done for the season and Adam Miller is on the shelf at Buffalo, the Indians’ rotation depth has taken a tremendous blow (making people like me, who suggested they explore the market for Aaron Laffey to find some offensive help, look dumb in the process). Trading C.C., then, would be an obvious white flag for ’08. And given that the White Sox are getting hot and the Indians continue to do little more than tread water in a sea of mediocrity, that white flag might be approaching.
The Indians could hold onto Sabathia and hope for the best and get two Draft picks if they lose him to free agency, but — go figure — the draftniks are already saying next year’s amateur class is looking pretty thin.
The Indians already passed up their best chance to trade Sabathia for a big package (though, if you compare it to the Johan Santana situation, that package probably wouldn’t have included much in the way of proven big-league talent), and I still think their thought process was reasonable. They knew they couldn’t contend without Sabathia in ’08, and they were probably right. But it’s becoming pretty clear that contending with him might not be in the cards, either. This road trip is further, and perhaps definitive, proof of that.
It’s time for the Indians to get off the Jhonny Peralta bandwagon. Do they really see talent in this guy? — Bruce F., Solon, Ohio
The Indians have tried to mold Peralta into a consistent hitter for several years now, but his stretches in which he seems to lose concentration always seem to catch up with him.
Peralta was probably the most impactful member of the lineup in the playoffs last year, but, given his track record, I can’t help but think he’ll always be a guy that struggles in cold weather in April and May and turns it on in the summer. His numbers with RISP this season (.161 overall, .111 with RISP and two outs and .207 with RISP and less than two outs) are especially discouraging, as is his limited range.
Fans have been clamoring for the Indians to move Peralta to third base, though there’s no evidence to suggest he’d be any better at that position than he is at short, and his overall offensive numbers are even less impressive if he’s suddenly one of your corner infield bats (not that their current corner infield production is anything to get too excited about).
Anyway, Asdrubal Cabrera is the more likely shortstop of the future, but he has to get his bat in check. The Indians did the right thing sending him down to Buffalo today. It’s the right move for their future, regardless of how many runs he was saving with his glove in the present.
As someone who lives just about a mile away from thehome, let’s hope the only thing Lonnie Chisenhall steals is bases. But seriously, all I have read is that he was charged. Was he convicted? — Dan J., Niles, Ohio
Chisenhall pleaded guilty to the charges of burglary and grand larceny and received six months’ probation.