Strike another match, go start anew

About 91,682 words later (you can check out all that work at Indians.com), my brain is very near the point of being fried, as I get ready for a, sure enough, delayed red-eye flight back home this evening.

But I’ve got a few more quick thoughts about today’s news.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Just throwing this out there, but I wonder what this trade, and the overall decision to look more toward 2011 than 2010, means for Eric Wedge. If anything, I would think it improves his chances of remaining with this club next year. For one, the Indians are clearly in player development mode for the next 14 months, and that eases the emphasis on poor April starts and the struggle to perform under weighty expectations — the biggest knocks on Wedge. And then there’s the financial issue, which is, of course, no small issue right now. Wedge is under contract for next season for at least $1 million. Would the already cash-strapped Indians really be willing to pay that price and hire a new manager next year? I can’t help but doubt it. I’m not saying Wedge and his staff are secure, as the Indians obviously want to see some legit development over the next two months. But the “reload” philosophy, I would imagine, helps Wedge’s standing here.
  • Worth noting that if Victor Martinez gets traded, his base salary for ’09 increases from $5.7 million to $6.2 million, and his 2010 option increases from $7 million to $7.5 million.
  • But will Martinez get traded? The Indians aren’t going to just give him away. And if the Red Sox are as highly motivated to acquire him as some people have suggested, you would think the framework of a deal would be in place by now. Martinez certainly hasn’t helped his trade stock by batting .144 since June 20. 
  • Former high school, Minor League and Major League teammates Ryan Garko and Ben Francisco get shipped off, within two days of each other and in their shared hometown of Anaheim, no less. What are the odds of that?
  • And here’s further coincidence: Francisco and Garko will be reunited this weekend, as the Phillies and Giants are squaring off in San Francisco.
  • Fausto Carmona will start either Friday or Saturday against the Tigers. That was not yet determined. Trevor Crowe gets the call over Matt LaPorta because he can back up Grady Sizemore in CF.
  • We’ll give the final word today to the centerpiece of the deal, Clifton Phifer Lee: “Losing one Cy Young winner one year and another the very next year is probably hard for a fan to swallow. It’s the nature of the game. It’s something you’re really going to have to talk to Shapiro about, as far as his outlook and his intent with the whole deal. Obviously, he feels he’s making the team better with those deals. It’s not my job to grade it. It’s my job to pitch.”

~AC

17 Comments

Ok, now that Cliff Lee is gone, can we finally find out what went down mid 2007 when he and Victor got into fisticuffs in the lockerroom/dugout? Also, AC, if you will, do you feel that tension between those two ever went away? Did the two of them just kind of put up with each throughout last year and this one? Did Kelly Shoppach being assigned to Lee have anything to do with it?

I pointed out earlier that Ben Francisco may have hit the jackpot, but I guess Cliff Lee makes out pretty well here, too. Good for him. He should be about 13-3 right now, but leaves us just 7-9. He also leaves in time to make me not hate his guts, because as far as I know, we didn’t even try to offer him an extension that he would have turned down.

I head about the Cliff Lee trade today / tonight and I don’t get it how can you give up one of your best pitcher for some minor leaguers with some of them not major league ready? This is a bad trade on the indians part. And it’s just another 3 or 4 year rebuilding plan. Bad trade all around by Mark Shapiro and Company.

AC, I feel the exact opposite about Wedge. My reasoning is thus:
1) Rebuilding means a new group of guys, and it would make sense to find them a manager who’s going to be with them from the start (just like it made sense when Wedge came on board)
2) If the front office has any hope of making the fan base happy, they have to fire Wedge. They can’t talk about rebuilding and then NOT remove Wedge. It’s disingenuous.
I’ll admit that, assuming we move Martinez and Peralta, I’ll be watching next year, just because it will be interesting. But I think if this team is going to reform from the ground up, it absolutely has to be with a new manager.
Besides, they’ve just saved themselves a few million dollars, so I think it’s a reasonable move.

LACF I just commented on your Brantley Crowe thing, but I totally agree here. I couldn’t disagree more with the idea Wedge returns. I thought all this was essentially the final “lame duck” nail in the coffin for him. God I hope he isn’t around.

I wonder if Wedge didn’t try to throw the previous game, by bringing Huff out for the 8th when he’d already thrown 100 pitches. Seemed just like another absurd Wedge decision in a year of bad decisions at the time, but maybe they wanted Huff to blow it. A lot harder to say “we can’t compete next year” when you’re 10 games out and 7-1 in the last 8 games … or possibly Wedge is just a terrible manager

we acquired one guy that just got off the DL and another that has been shutdown. What is going on here? How does a scout evaluate a guy on the DL?

Is it possible to get waxed on one deal then hose a team on another in less than 48 hours? How about Martinez, Marson and Pavano for Buchholz, Masterson or Delcarmen, and another prospect? Wishful thinking.

How about trading Peralta? Carroll? There should be no reservations. No one is untouchable.

AM, I have to believe the Tribe is targeting Masterson. I can’t see the Red Sox moving Buckholtz for anyone other than Halladay — they just don’t have the pitching. They basically have two great guys and then a bunch of patchwork pitchers after that. Buckholtz is too important to them if they can’t get Halladay (or if they do, as he’d be traded, I’m sure).
With all their interest in Martinez, I would guess that means Masterson is our target. I also have to assume that either Marson or Donald would be included in that deal, ideally to get some prospects from Boston as well.
And, hey, if we’re going to rebuild, getting Masterson would be a reasonable guy to work with.
Yes, Peralta, Carroll, and Pavano should also be dealt. Honestly, by the weekend our infield should be Marte, Cabrera, Valbuena, and LaPorta (with, preferably, Gimenez getting time behind the plate).
Our outfield should be some combination of Choo, Sizemore, Crowe, and Brantley, and we should have Barfield and Brown on the bench next to Hafner and (I guess, as I don’t think we’d move him AND Martinez) Shoppach.
Our rotation should be Carmona, Laffey, Sowers, Huff, and Carrosco (who they’ve already mentioned will most likely get the nod).
And why not call up our potential bullpen arms? Jess Todd pitch a whole scoreless inning today in AAA, why not get him started now? Veras is clearly not the future; neither is Gosling. Perez and Lewis have been throwing scoreless innings in Columbus, so let’s get them some more time in the majors to learn from their mistakes.
Like I said, if we’re going to do it, then let’s DO IT.

Man, the trades being made have made even me, an Angel fan, scratch my head. You guys played us tight this series, definitely feel that you have very good team, too bad so many have been traded.
http://mattwestmoreland.mlblogs.com/

Two things to keep in mind, too:
Westbrook is a free agent after next year
Jhonny has a $7 million option for 2011, FA in 2012
Westbrook could be an interesting situation, since he hasn’t pitched in so long. Given how long he’s been out, I can’t imagine his price is very high — might be the kind of guy the Tribe could keep around as a #5 starter in 2011.
Jhonny’s due $4.6 million next year.

LACF, it’s fine to speculate they’re going after Masterson, but if that’s the case, shouldn’t this trade have been worked out between all 3 teams? Otherwise they are stuck with 5 catchers, if they can’t work out another deal with Boston, or someone else. This trade is total nonsense if it isn’t followed by another deal, but there’s obviously not another deal in place, so how can they pull the trigger on the Lee deal and just hope they can work something out with another team? Torregas and Santana (albeit at AA) are both putting up better numbers than Marson, Marson’s slugging % is .370 …. 1 HR in 211 ABs, in AAA? How does that make him a top prospect? Santana has 19 HRs. Argh, this trade is so awful. As far as next year being interesting, sure, if Westbrook comes back, and Carmona figures things out, it could be interesting … if Carmona continues to walk twice as many as he strikes out, and Westbrook doesn’t return, we are seriously looking at Laffey as the opening day starter next year, and that’s not interesting, that’s pathetic

Not only are Marson’s numbers not as good as Toregas’, but Gimenez is doing just as well as Shoppach. It’s a cluster-f, if you will.
You raise a good point regarding a three team deal, which makes me think that Marson was brought on board specifically to back up Shoppach when they trade Martinez, which is just sad. And Donald is here specifically to replace Carroll.
I have zero hope for this team to be any good next season, so I’m not really concerned about Westbrook or Carmona. I basically look at the rest of this season and all of next season as spring training for 2011, and I always find the process interesting.
Hey, the Aeroes have been great all year — we’re basically just waiting for them to show up, with a few choice hold overs from the Tribe and the Clippers!

Speaking of which, Grady is signed through 2011 with an option for 2012, which I would imagine they’ll pick up. Pronk is signed through 2012, with an option for 2013, which I can’t imagine they’ll pick up, given our depth.

I cant believe this.
http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

LACF, you just hit the nail on the head and I’ve been waiting for someone to say it exactly like you did. We can speculate about other trades but the bottom line is Jason Donald was brought here to replace Jamey Carroll and Lou Marson was brought in here to bridge the gap to Santana and back up (probably) Kelly Shoppach.

Therefore, we traded Francisco and Lee for what amounts to an 18 year old kid with shoulder fatigue but massive upside, a 22 year old SP that peaked last year whom appears to be frustrated with his current situation potential with upside, a utility infielder (at best) and a backup catcher whose ceiling is “an average everyday catcher”. AWESOME!

Yeah, AM, and it’s even sadder that we already have two guys in AAA who are just as good as Marson and Donald (Toregas and Barfield), so we basically got guys to replace guys, even though we already had guys who could do that just fine.
*sigh*

there might be a huge twist to this Lee/Francisco deal. Has anyone else seen the latest news? Probably not since everyone is almost certainly sleep. Curse of the second shift.

“The Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians were discussing a three-way trade Thursday night that would send Victor Martinez to Boston, Clay Buchholz to Cleveland and prospects flying in all directions, according to clubs that spoke to both teams.

The Red Sox also would attempt to move recently acquired Adam LaRoche, either to a third team or in a companion deal, to make room for Martinez in their lineup, one source said.”

Now, this report came from Jayson Stark, the brilliant ESPN pundit that claimed Lou Marson would be the “heir apparent to Victor Martinez” so we have to take it at face value. But lets consider this deal for a second.

The only aspect of this deal that concerns me is the “prospects flying in all directions” comment. Who are these rumored prospects? I do have a few so-called untouchables if the only real “prospect” we are getting is Buchholz. Those being LaPorta, Weglarz, Rondon, Brantley, Hodges, Mills, Santana, Chisnehall, Alex Perez, and any of the players we received so far this year not named Lou Marson and Jason Donald. There must be some other of our own prospects that I am forgetting but it is 2:33 am and more than likely, by the time I get up in the morning a deal for Martinez may already be complete.

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