"You're so money" (but you don't have any of it)

The Indians feel confident Jhonny Peralta can make the switch to third base (he’s been playing there in the Dominican Winter League), but it’s still their first preference not to go that route.

But when you look at the market for third basemen, it’s pretty clear the Indians will have to get creative or tolerate plenty of risk (i.e. Joe Crede’s back) if they’re going to fill the hot corner with somebody from the outside. And second base is looking pretty dry, too, at the moment.

So… how about a shortstop?

The Indians were interested in Rafael Furcal, until it appeared he was on the verge of signing a four-year deal with the A’s. But Furcal reportedly turned down the A’s offer (which, I’m told, was actually three years, not four), which fuels speculation that the Indians might get involved again. That’s merely speculation for now, as GM Mark Shapiro has yet to meet with Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, here at the Winter Meetings. They will, however, undoubtedly talk at some point. But if Furcal is really looking for four years times $12 million, I don’t think he’ll get it from the Tribe.

One rumor that sprouted up today linked the Indians to Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada. I wouldn’t get too emotionally invested in that rumor. Shapiro shook his head when it was brought up. And with Tejada due to make $13 million next season, the Astros would have to eat a large chunk of his contract — a scenario that seems unlikely.

The basic theme that came out of today’s session with Shapiro is that the Indians only have the financial resources to add one “impact” player at either closer, infielder or in the starting rotation. They can certainly fill those three spots, but it’s likely that only one of the acquisitions will be of the true, impact variety. And right now, it’s quite clear the Tribe’s priority in the impact department is at closer — a position that, as I wrote earlier, likely won’t be filled until the Mets knock down the first free-agent domino.

6 Comments

Why no mention of Mastny? Is that not official? Or is that not something worth mentioning? And when you do mention it, any word on why he decided to take that route with his career?

You shoulda titled the same post for the hot stove rumors blog the same as this one.

Closer… closer… closer… I’m not impressed by the free-agent infielders available: too much money and too many injuries. Just sign Kerry Wood and hit the tables.

Why are they hesitant to put Cabrera at SS? Will he play 2nd if they acquire another SS? What about Carroll’s role?

The Brewers had issues last year with Rickie Weeks. Even though Weeks is an athletic young player who’s shown flashes of good offense in the past and is a young player, the Brewers had to spend valuable front office time and chips to augment his offense last season, in the midst of the pennant race. Now, they have Escobar ready to play so Weeks will probably have to be moved either to a new position or a new team. Given our rotten choices in the infield and our generally OK team hitting stats over the second half, we could probably tolerate Weeks splits better than the Brewers were able to do. They can have Barfield back in trade, and turn him into a utility guy! Any chance the Brew crew might go for a Weeks trade, do you think?

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