All I hear is the clock on the dash tick-tocking

Reader “amseeley” sent me an e-mail asking about the options status of several Tribe players. I figured I’d just provide you with the status of everybody on the Tribe roster.

Obviously, some of this can be overlooked. For instance, the Indians won’t be optioning Kerry Wood down to Columbus next year. I’m just giving you the all-inclusive list.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody!

Three option years left:

Michael Brantley
Jordan Brown
Kelvin De La Cruz
Jason Donald
Jeanmar Gomez
Wes Hodges
David Huff
Chris Perez
Carlos Rivero
Nick Weglarz
Kerry Wood

Two option years left:

Asdrubal Cabrera
Carlos Carrasco
Trevor Crowe
Chris Gimenez
Aaron Laffey
Matt LaPorta
Lou Marson
Justin Masterson
Hector Rondon
Carlos Santana
Grady Sizemore
Joe Smith
Jess Todd
Luis Valbuena

One option year left:
Jensen Lewis
Adam Miller
Jhonny Peralta
Kelly Shoppach
Tony Sipp
Wyatt Toregas
Jake Westbrook

No options left:
Fausto Carmona
Shin-Soo Choo
Travis Hafner
Andy Marte
Rafael Perez
Jeremy Sowers
Jose Veras

~AC

42 Comments

I gotta give AC credit here for a couple of reasons. First, I sent him that email at 3:40am on Wednesday. He posted that article shortly before 3pm. Second, I brought up 13 different players and he responded with the entire team’s options. It was quite the ranting email I sent per my usual posts. Obviously, I am a Cleveland Indians Degenerate and he politely obliged my obsessive compulsive disorder.

I think that being a fan of a small-to-mid market team makes us more realistic and certainly more grounded than larger markets. While we all want to seriously contend in 2010 deep down we know that A LOT of things would have to go right for that to happen. I asked for the options list so we could evaluate where the long term future of this team actually resides. And while Jake Westbrook could provide invaluable service for 2010, IMO Fausto Carmona and Rafael Perez are two key pitchers for our future success in their respective roles. 2010 is a defining year for a lot of guys.

Now, admittedly there is always the diamond-in-the-rough, come-out-of-nowhere pitcher that makes a big splash in a short amount of time (Alex White?). We may not even be cognizant of this player yet. If 2011 is our projected target year then look at the list of players with 1-2 years of options left when determining how our roster will be constructed. By the end of 2010 we will have ~$21.5M coming off the books from only two players. That’s significant for a small market payroll b/c we can’t absorb the types of monetary mistakes like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angles, et. al.

I have more to say b/c I think this is a necessary conversation for fans to realistically have but I’m tired as can be. Happy Holidays all.

I’ve read on Let’s Go Tribe and Indians Prospect Insider that KDLC is in line for a fourth option year. That may well have played in to the decision to roster him so early and coming off an injury-plagued season.

I didn’t realize we had that much money coming off the books after next year… that’s great. I know Jake will be gone, but where is the rest of that money? Wood? His contract has been so frustrating, I hate vesting options. Obviously it’s easy to say that in retrospect.

I don’t see the need to spend money this offseason at all. We have a lot of depth at the pitcher position all of the sudden, and just as many question marks. I don’t see why you bring someone in from FA to take up innings that we need the young guys to have. Let’s see what our pitching staff is made of, figure out where everyone is, and then spend money on getting a pitcher NEXT offseason, if necessary. I am indifferent/mildly opposed to bringing in a catcher. We had Alomar to mentor the guys, and I want to see what they can do full time. And it really makes sense to give the utility spot to Donald. I guess I would understand if they wanted to bring in another veteran player, but with Wood, Westbrook, Hafner, and even Grady now, that is enough leadership for the young guys in my opinion.
Hopefully the Indians play it cool this winter.

pigeon, it will be interesting to see how Acta uses Kerry Wood. He already said that he might use him in the 4-out save. IMO that is a very smart decision: using Wood for essentially 2 innings will decrease his appearances and therefore less likely for that option to vest. As we get closer to the AS break and deadline don’t be surprised if Perez starts getting an opportunity to close.

First and foremost, let us, once again, give some love to the OU Bobcats for winning the MAC East!
On to baseball…
I’m with pigeon — I don’t see why we should spend ANY money this off season, and that’s why this whole “signing a FA 1st baseman” bit is confusing me. Everything I’ve read has indicated they want a right handed bat, but I get various reasons for this — either in case LaPorta isn’t healthy, or to use said FA against left handed pitching. Either of these reasons, honestly, stuns me. I mean, a) we HAVE a right handed first baseman who is out of options and seems to have potential (and can also play 3rd when needed), and b) LaPorta doesn’t have the major league ABs necessary to determine he can’t hit against lefties. Let’s at least give the guy a chance. Spending money on a FA to split time at first just strikes me as wasteful — let the youngsters get that time.

AM, I think that additional money will end up being tied up with long term contract for Cabrera and Choo (assuming they get his military obligation issue cleared up), but that’s just a theory. They definitely appear to be the “new” core of this team going forward, though (even if AC was a part of the 2007 squad).

Between Jordan Brown, Andy Marte, and Jason Donald not to mention the gluttony of unproven arms we have on our roster I also see no reason to spend money on a SP that is essentially an innings eater or a utility infielder that hits LHP. We need to quite coddling these kids with matchups and platoons. Simply let them go especially if 2010 is a throw-away year.

Guys like Carmona, Masterson and Westbrook are guaranteed to be in the rotation to start the year barring injury. You’d have to assume that Laffey would have the inside track on one of the two remaining openings, while my preference there would be Huff (sorry AC, he’s still not the 3-2, 0.79 ERA guy that we saw). That leaves us with Carrasco, Huff, Rondon, and Sowers. Save the money, figure out what we have NOW rather than in 2011 and beyond. I’m willing to lose terribly in 2010 so long as I get answers for 2011.

Agreed, AM.

Say, for the sake of argument, everyone is healthy. We’ve got our eight position players and 12 pitchers, then our DH and back-up catcher, bringing us to 22. Then we’d need a 4th outfielder (most likely Crowe, since he also gives us speed off the bench) and a utility infielder. Who gets the final spot?
Going purely by options, it has to be Marte, yes?
I stand by my statement before that whoever loses the 2nd base job should start the year in Columbus, as irregular playing time is the last thing any of these guys needs. So I’m inclined to agree with the idea that we SHOULD sign a utility guy. I’ve heard talk of Craig Counsell, which would be an interesting choice, as I believe he can play 3rd, too.
But, like AM said, I don’t want to see any of the youngsters sitting for a veteran FA, not next year, at least.

LACF, you said

b) LaPorta doesn’t have the major league ABs necessary to determine he can’t hit against lefties.

LaPorta bats RH. Do you mean Brantley? Because a RH FA 1B would take AB from Brantley when LaPorta goes to LF.

I agree with everyone here. They shouldn’t sign any FA other than a NRI to play UIF.

Since AM introduced the intriguing possibility of the Tribe saving enough cash to be able to make a FA signing in 2011, here are the pitchers coming available then, as well as their options and their ages (courtesy of MLBtraderumors.com):

Bronson Arroyo (34) – $11MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Josh Beckett (31)
Joe Blanton (30)
Jeremy Bonderman (28)
Dave Bush (31)
Matt Cain (26) – $6.25MM vesting option
Kevin Correia (30)
Jorge De La Rosa (30)
Jeff Francis (29) – $7MM club option
Freddy Garcia (35)
Chad Gaudin (28)
Roy Halladay (34)
Aaron Harang (33) – $12.75MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Hiroki Kuroda (36)
Cliff Lee (32)
Ted Lilly (35)
Kevin Millwood (36)
Sergio Mitre (30)
Brian Moehler (39)
Jamie Moyer (48)
Tim Redding (33)
Nate Robertson (33)
Jeff Suppan (36) – $12.75MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Koji Uehara (36)
Javier Vazquez (34)
Brandon Webb (32)
Jake Westbrook (33)
Dontrelle Willis (29)
Chris Young (32) – $8.5MM club option

You can see a few of them will surely sign extensions before then. And, just in case no one steps up and we find ourselves looking at a large option for Peralta:

Third basemen
Garrett Atkins (31)
Wilson Betemit (29)
Geoff Blum (38) – $1.65MM mutual option
Jorge Cantu (29)
Eric Chavez (33) – $12.5MM club option with a $3MM buyout
Bill Hall (31) – $9.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Wes Helms (35)
Brandon Inge (34)
Mike Lowell (37)
Jhonny Peralta (29) – $7MM club option with a $250K buyout
Aramis Ramirez (33) – $14.6MM player option
Scott Rolen (36)
Ty Wigginton (33)

Not exactly a lot to choose from, to be honest. I think Jhonny might be the best option, believe it or not, behind Jorge Cantu, who will probably command more than $ 7MM.

So Acta’s comments about Jhonny needing to be a core part of this team going forward seem to have some solid basis.

I can’t imagine us signing a significant FA third baseman in 2011. At least not anyone more than a placeholder. I imagine Chisenhall will be in AAA by then, and we still have Wes Hodges (defensive liability or not) as an option. In fact, barring any unforeseen problems, I’m not sure about any significant position player FA signings within the next two or three years. The only possibility I see in the next few years would be a corner outfielder. Although I don’t want to imagine losing Grady, what if he doesn’t resign when he becomes a FA? We don’t have a lot of depth in the OF on the lower end of the system (other than Weglarz and Costanza), due to the log jam we have top-side. Pitching is another issue completely. While we have an incredible amount of prospects right now, pitching prospects are such unknown variables, it will be hard to say what can be available in the next 3 years. Even if our current batch of MLB ready prospects and rotation members are successful, they will still be very young and somewhat unproven in a few years (especially after Westbrook becomes a FA). I’d say a starter is most likely what we will see in a significant FA signing in the near future.

“After 1997, I don’t ever want to see Craig Counsell near an Indians uniform.”

Second.

For what it’s worth, this is what Paul Hoynes had to say about the Indians’ options:

Worth a gamble: The Indians are looking for a right-handed hitting first baseman. Kevin Millar or Robb Quinlan might be worth a look.

Worth a gamble: The Indians are looking for an extra infielder. Alex Cora, Ronnie Belliard or Craig Counsell could be the answer.

After 1997, I don’t ever want to see Craig Counsell near an Indians uniform.

Additionally, the is a story on post-gazette.com about how the Pirates intend on using their #2 overall selection in this years R5D. Huntington has taken pitchers in 2 of the last 3 years with issues and upside. Both are now entrenched on their FMR. As I said before, watch out for the cash-strapped teams to feed on our exposed players.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09333/1017088-63.stm

jk, I should have used quotation marks since that was my own personal comment rather than Hoynes’. Glad you agree though.

LACF, good stuff on the information gathering for 2011. It is slightly pathetic that we Tribe fans always seem to be looking towards the future. I will look at the list a bit more after work.

Meanwhile, I still believe that the immediate future of this team, particularly the pitching staff, will revolve around those players (with 0-1 years of options left) being able to “get it.” I desperately want to hope that Belcher and Radinsky in particular can inject some confidence, support and technique into guys like Sowers, R. Perez, J. Lewis and ultimately Fausto Carmona. Simply put, if all 4 of those guys fall flat on their faces and end of being released within the next 1-2 years then all the trades in the world cannot make up for the (lets say it together) ‘potential’ that those guys have/had. Apathy is running amok right about now.

Anyone see those pictures of Sizemore that are circulating around now? Looks like the surgery went well for him.

And on a more serious note, I think am hit the nail on the head with the pitching. That is going to make or break it for our team. If the Belcher/Radinsky turn out to be good coaches and we develop a strong pitching staff, everything else will fall in to plae. That is a big “if,” but it will be fun to see the pitchers develop over the course of the year.

Hahaha….I haven’t seen them. I’m at work, and that probably wouldn’t be proper. Also, looking at half-naked pictures of Grady would probably garner some unwarranted questions from coworkers. However, it seems to be one of those embarrassing “oops” situations that is more funny than anything. I hope people don’t make a big deal about it.

Man, this comment system is so erratic; it’s posting things out of order again.
A while back, I made the rather bold claim that the Tribe lives or dies by Fausto Carmona. While it’s probably not as drastic as I make it out, I think it holds, particularly given the last three seasons — heck, the last four seasons.
That list of 2011 FA actually gives me some piece of mind, simply because it now makes financial sense to pick up Peralta’s option if Marte, Hodges, Chisenhall, etc. aren’t ready yet. It basically takes a question mark away. Again, this makes Acta’s overtures towards Jhonny understandable.
It seems like the main battles will be 2nd, #5 starter, starting catcher, and bullpen positions, yes? Assuming we’re healthy, that is.

It really depends on what Peralta does this year, doesn’t it? If he hits .260 again, it would obviously be foolish to pick up the option. If he performs well, say .280 or above with 20+ HRs, then if they’re not in contention it would still seem likely he’d be traded mid-season (I predict that Peralta has a good year next year, his best year since 2006, and that they trade him in July) Rolen’s old enough that unless he has a really good year he likely wouldn’t get more than a 2-3 year deal at the most, I’d certainly take him at something like 2 years $14 million, vs, spending $9 million on Jhonny for another 1.5 years. Lowell if he’s healthier in 2010 would be a good 1-year signing. If Jhonny’s hitting .290 with 15HRs on July 15th and the Indians are 15 games below .500, I’d trade him for a good prospect, and be comfortable that I could either replace him internally or sign someone for around $8 million/yr whose offensive production would hopefully exceed Peralta’s career averages … in other words, gain a prospect at no cost. The only scenario I see where they keep Jhonny past 2010 is if he has a good year this year and the Indians contend

I don’t see anyone on that 2011 FA list that would be a real upgrade over Peralta, particularly if he’s playing well. I also don’t know how many of them would be looking for a single year deal, particularly one that’s less than the option on Peralta — and I have to have some hope that Hodges or Chisenhall will be ready by 2012, so a single year is all we’d need.
Scott Rolen would be a FA after this season, so a two year deal at $14 million (2011 and 2012 seasons) would be the same cost as Jhonny’s option (2011) but with more commitment. And there’s just no way Lowell is getting healthier.
The problem I see in trying to trade Jhonny is his value. I don’t know who would really want him. I think he’d have to have an absolutely unreal first half for the Tribe to get any solid offers for him.

I think it’s funny (and somewhat sad) that these Grady Sizemore pics will be the biggest story of the off season.

Anthony (Castrovince), how about Anthony (Reyes)? How many option years does he have?

I don’t think Peralta has to have anything like an “unreal” first half to draw interest, the Indians got two good relief prospects for Mark Derosa, who was having a year that was on par with Peralta’s career averages. If Jhonny has an average to above average year there will be interest. If they trade him midway through the season, they’d save $2 million in 2010, and $7 million in 2011. They don’t necessarily have to use that money to sign a 3b, one of their prospects might step up. It’s a little early obviously to pinpoint what free agent they could target, since you never know how these players’ 2010 seasons will play out, or who else will be a free agent, or if the Indians would need a 3b, 2b, DH in 2011, but whatever the situation if they have an extra $9 million to spend, you can’t tell me they can’t find a player who is at least as good as Jhonny Peralta

From that list and for the price? That’s exactly what I’m saying. And if he does play above average, and we trade him, who do we replace him with if none of the prospects are ready? It will be someone who’s no more than equal to Jhonny and for more money.

Not more money. The same amount of money, or less. And you add whoever you get in the trade, probably a fairly high-level prospect if Peralta’s doing well. Look at the 3rd basemen whose offensive performance this year were comparable to Peralta’s career averages (and much better than Peralta’s 2009 performance), and who are all free agents this year: Mark Teahen $3.75million, Mark Derosa $5.5 million, Adam Kennedy $4million, Chone Figgins $5.75 million (steals a lot more bases than Peralta, of course) … Figgins new contract will probably make him more expensive than Peralta but if anyone pays those other guys anything close to $7 million they’re crazy. Derosa might be available himself in 2011, if he signs a one-year deal … your list is not necessarily a complete list. With Peralta you have no idea what you’re going to get from him, year to year or week to week or month to month. There was only one qualifying 3rd basemen in the majors who had a worse OPS than Peralta this year, and even Peralta’s career numbers are below average for a 3rd baseman … paying him $7 million is a huge gamble, no matter what kind of year he has in 2010. If they don’t compete next year and Peralta outperforms himself, they will be smart to trade him.

That is a complete list as far as FA, and I don’t see how the Tribe would be able to trade for a top of the line 3rd baseman when we only have the guys to trade for prospects. The other issue is that $7 million on Peralta’s option is for a single year, whereas I don’t see anyone on that list who looks open for a single year deal, at least anyone who’s going to produce better than Jhonny.
But my main point is that I don’t think we can count on anyone in our system to be ready by 2011 which means, if we deal Peralta, we’ll be dependent upon the FA market to find a new third baseman, which means bidding against other teams, not to mention investing in another signing — and how well have those worked out for us so far?
As much as I like Marte and even Hodges, it’s become more and more clear to me that Chisenhall is our best bet in our system. It’s going to take him a full season in AA and a full season in AAA before he makes it to Cleveland, though, but that puts him right on schedule for 2012, just in time to replace Peralta.

“at least anyone who’s going to produce better than Jhonny.” When every 3rd baseman in the majors except for 24-year old 3b/SS Emilio Bonifacio produced better than Jhonny in 2009, I have to question why you think it will be difficult to get a replacement. Marte had as good of numbers as Peralta in 2009. And what I mean about our list being incomplete is you’re not including guys who are FA this year, who may sign a 1-year deal and be a free agent again next year. But whatever, I’m apparently bored because it’s way too early to really argue about this, since we have no idea how the Indians, Peralta, or any of those potential 2011 free agent 3rd basemen are going to do next year

I only hear the tick tack of the clock in the night.. When everybody is in silence and the only the clock i could hear.the noise of no words in the silence of night. essay

I think that being a fan of a small-to-mid market team makes us more realistic and certainly more grounded than larger markets. While we all want to seriously contend in 2010 deep down we know that A LOT of things would have to go right for that to happen. I asked for the options list so we could evaluate where the long term future of this team actually resides. the instant money code

Thank you for this great entry. I was hoping to write a similar essay before. And seeing this, I have become more determined to write my essays .

I think am hit the nail on the head with the pitching. That is going to make or break it for our team.

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Yeah when there is complete silence, I hear tick tack noise….
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