From small things, mama, big things one day come

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

Some guy on TV right now is giving something called the “State of the Union Address.” But if you want some real important information, then let’s get you caught up on all the latest tidbits from the Tribe’s winter Press Tour:

  • For starters, the best news of Press Tour week is that 4-year-old Luke Holko is doing tremendously well in his recovery from the brain injuries he suffered when struck by a foul ball at a Mahoning Valley game in September. It was a joy to speak with Luke’s parents, Nicole and Chad, in Youngstown last night and see the expressions on their faces as they talked about their son’s incredible progress. They were also very excited to see Chris Perez, Aaron Laffey and David Huff pay their son a visit. You can read all about that here.
  • The point of the Press Tour is to generate interest in the club while raising money for various charities. And if you read this space regularly, you know I try to make as much mention as possible about the Indians’ many community endeavors, because they are certainly worth noting. But if you want the full story on those activities, they will be chronicled in a new blog set up by the team’s Community Outreach department. Check it here and check it often.
  • Perez said he is “95 percent” recovered from offseason surgery to remove a loose bone and a cyst from the back of his left ankle. Perez pitched with the condition throughout 2009, so it never affected him on the mound. He said his ankle is still a little weak when he plants his foot, but he’ll be fine for Spring Training and can always wear the brace he wore last year, if necessary.
  • During the Youngstown stop of the Press Tour, a fan asked assistant GM Chris Antonetti what the plan is if something goes wrong with Kerry Wood. Antonetti simply pointed to Perez.
    Michael Brantley is a little bit thicker than the last time we saw him. He said he gained 10 pounds of muscle by upping the ante on his lifting program. “I put on some weight, but it’s all good weight,” he said. “I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. But I’ve been running each and every day, so I’m still light on my legs. I couldn’t be happier with my weight and conditioning.”
  • Brantley (No. 46) and Carlos Santana (No. 11) cracked MLB.com’s Top 50 Prospects list, which was released tonight.
  • Sandy Alomar Jr. thinks Kenny Lofton, who was named to the Tribe’s Hall of Fame today, should be considered for that other Hall of Fame. The one in Cooperstown. “Everybody talks about home runs, but this guy was the igniter for this organization for many years. … Kenny took pride in the leadoff spot and playing his role. The voters have to reward players for their abilities. It’s not just home runs and RBIs, but how they played their role.”
  • What did Alomar think about his brother, Roberto, falling oh-so-short of the Hall in his first year on the ballot? He said the John Hirschbeck incident sealed Robbie’s fate, and he wishes that weren’t the case. “What bothered me about it was that in this day and era, people still don’t understand the Latin culture,” Alomar said. “We are so competitive and so emotionally involved in the game. Even at 6 or 7 years old, we want to win. It’s not just about having fun. So when we come here, we are exposed to many things that people don’t understand from us. Sometimes we don’t run because we’re frustrated. It’s not because we don’t want to hustle. Sometimes we throw our glove. … And sometimes we snap. So people don’t understand the way we play. I’m not calling anybody a bigot or anything. They just don’t understand.”
  • Alomar talked a little about his program for working with young catchers, and he said a major part of it is getting them to focus on covering their signs. Too often, Alomar said, catchers’ signs are exposed to the runner at first base. “We will work on that,” he said.
  • Manny Acta said the Indians are still exploring the possibility of making one or two additions before camp opens.
  • I was surprised to learn that Lofton and Acta were teammates in the Houston system at the Class A Florida State League in 1990. Acta said he was playing “next to the cooler” in those days. He was a backup infielder.
  • Jordan Brown did a video interview with MLB.com in which he discusses the controversy when he wasn’t given a September callup last year. You can check that out here.
  • Finally, while the Press Tour isn’t over, I can safely say the coolest stop is undoubtedly the one that took place tonight, when Trevor Crowe, Tony Sipp and Tim Belcher visited the Historic Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. Before a Town Hall session with fans, the trio took a tour of the reformatory, and I got the chance to tag along. The reformatory was in use from 1896 to 1991, and it has since been a filming site for “Shawshank Redemption,” “Air Force One,” a Godsmack music video and an episode of “Ghost Hunters.” For whatever it’s worth, I highly recommend the tour.

~AC

60 Comments

I’ve been past it, but never inside the old reformatory. That had to be fun. People get married their! lol
http://clevelandbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Their is a misprint on the Santana and Brantley Prospect list. It says “Bradley.” Nice work on the article though.

By the time Chris Perez’s career is over, historians will view the trade for Mark DeRosa to be one of the worst in Cardinal lore. It will rank up there with the Steve Carlton and Dan Haren deals. This horribly lop-sided deal should benefit the Indians for years to come and that’s without even taking into consideration Jess Todd.

Keep in mind, eccard, that the true measure of that trade for the Tribe will be against the trade we made to originally bring DeRosa over. Right now, I’d say we’re looking pretty good just based on Chris Perez. When was the last time we had a legitimate closer candidate in our system?
I wish there was video of Antonetti pointing at Perez. That sounds hilarious.

Just read/watched MLB’s Top 50 Prospects (that page set up is awful, AC, not that you have anything to do with it — the 10 second video on Brantley ended and it jumped to the next person before I had a chance to read the column on the side).
It’s hard not to get excited about Santana and the comparisons to Martinez are nice to hear, if not a little depressing just because Victor is gone.
I do love the 3 franchise type catchers we’ll have put together: Alomar, Martinez, Santana. I don’t know a lot of organizations that could claim that kind of quality behind the plate over such a stetch of time (yeah, I know there were/are some fill-ins, but work with me).

If this came from anyone other than Peter Gammons, I’d probably ignore it. I’m sure nothing will come of it, but it’s interesting to read, anyway:

“Is Mike Lowell on this team opening day?”

“I would say probably not. I don?t know where, Texas is not there any more because they signed [Vladimir] Guerrero. Cleveland was said to have interest. I don?t know how much money they could take on, I mean they have no money. Maybe if they take two, maybe they could do that. If he has a good spring, and I still believe another year off the hip operation I think he?ll actually come back and have a decent spring training. The problem is, how do you find room for him on that Boston roster. They are going to have to have one guy playing the middle infield for them sitting on the bench. And Billy Hall of course gives them more flexibility because he can play five positions.”

LAC, I saw the same thing, but we already have Peralta at third. I just don’t see why the Indians would acquire some one of his age for a position that is already filled. (at this point) Peralta is getting paid $4.6M and has a $7M option for ’11. Lowell is getting paid $12M this season and has no option for ’11. Not to mention, Peralta will be lucky if the Indians don’t trade him at the dead line. Lowell has had injury problems, and Peralta has been healthy for most of his career. Jhonny is younger too.

I don’t see. The Indians are trying to cut payroll, and this would just add more. Not that you advocating the move, but that is how i see it.

ESPN MLB analyst Keith Law has been doing some work the past week ranking the minor league talent of teams. In his opinion, the Indians have the 4th best farm system in the MLB, behind Texas, Boston, and Tampa. Also, he did his own version of the 100 best prospects, and some Indians made the cut.
#3 Carlos Santana; #26 Lonnie Chisenhall; #51 Hector Rondon; #71 Michael Brantley; and #100 Nick Hagadone.

Law also mentions that Chisenhall was expelled from South Carolina for burglary charges, on which he plead guilty. I didn’t know that about him.

Yeah, indians, that’s what I thought, too. Can anyone think of a reason why the Tribe WOULD entertain the idea of bringing in Lowell? I don’t know what that upside would be, unless they were going to deal Peralta to someone at the same time.

Well, I can’t think of any. I think the Indians liked Lowell after the 2007 season and their was talk, but i don’t see the point in trading for him now. What prospect would they trade? Plus, his contract is outrageous for a team like the Indians when they have a cheaper, younger 3d baseman in house. I’d rather see what these kids can do, and go from there.

LAC, did you happen to see the Hudson rumor? I don’t see the point in that either. He would just take at bats away from Luis. Not what we want if he is our future second baseman.

I saw the Hudson rumor. I didn’t hear about Lowell until a few minutes ago. Neither of which really make any sense to me. As much as I think Hudson has been getting the shaft for the past couple of years, I would rather him not block our prospects in a year where we aren’t supposed to contend.

I put more stock in the Lowell bit because it’s Gammons, but not much. Like I said, I would have to imagine it would have been a move made AFTER dealing Jhonny, but I have no idea to who — could the Red Sox have been interested in him as a short stop? That seems just as baffling. And any deal for Lowell would have required most of his salary being picked up AND a prospect of some caliber for…? I got nothin’.
Then again, the Rangers were only giving the Red Sox Max Ramirez for Lowell, so who knows.

I agree, this team already has enough injury problems. We don’t need Boston’s..lol We’d have Lowell for one season and that is it and i doubt he would want to come to Cleveland anyway. Not even worth talking about if i am Mark.

Yeah Lowell wouldn’t really make any sense. He might make sense next year as a free agent but not this year in a trade when his ability to even play 3b is in question. Before they signed Beltre I thought Peralta would have been a good fit for the Red Sox, but it certainly wouldn’t have ever made sense to trade Peralta for Lowell — more like Peralta for a mid-level prospect. If the Indians talked to the Red Sox about Lowell it was probably just out of boredom … I find it interesting that the Red Sox are paying something like $20 million for 3rd basemen next year, since they’re probably on the hook for almost all of Lowell’s contract even if they trade him and they (over)paid Beltre $10 million.

For signing that would have made sense, I’m curious whether the Indians had any discussions with Belliard, and if not, why? He signed for $825,000 with LA. Which is funny because LA signed Carroll for more money than that. He was certainly in their price range, they could’ve offered him a million and let him compete with Valbuena for the 2b job. It would be much better to have Belliard than Redmond, right?

Redmond is here to guide Marson and Santana. he is basically a player/coach for Marson/Santana. Redmond has been in this division for several years now and knows the hitters. He’s basically another set of eyes for Sandy and Manny. Grudz is a veteran and if he makes the team he knows what to say or not to say to Luis and or Asdrubal, so i like both. But Grudz isn’t a sure thing to make the team, so we’ll have to wait and see. Plus, Redmond is making peanuts anyway, so it no lose for the Indians.

Yes, I would take Redmond + Grudz over Belliard + Toregas for multiple reasons

For being ranked #4 by Keith Law, he wasn’t particularly complimentary about the Tribe’s prospects other than Santana and Chisenhall. Law states, “There’s still value in a system that can keep pumping out average or fringe-average big leaguers, simply because it keeps you away from the Jason Kendalls of the free-agent market.” Wow, such high praise for Mark Shapiro’s drafting gurus, whom were inexplicably retained but given a philosophical overhaul.

And speaking of his top 100 list, I am now a little concerned with how an MLB guy projects our current young SPs compared to how WE project them out to be. He makes a case that Rondon’s ceiling is actually lower than it could be and that Hagadone seems primed for the bullpen probably along with Knapp. Sheesh.

And for all the noise about Kyle Drabek, he graded out at #40 overall, although Carlos Carrasco didn’t even make the list. Not to mention my original point way back when that suggested people clearly said that Travis D’Arnaud was a better prospect that Lou Marson, just not ML ready. Jason Donald?

Reading Law’s articles actually made me feel worse about the Tribe. Time for another beer.

The Indians, according to fox sports, have explored the Idea of trading Fausto to clear up money for Orlando Hudson. Ken Rosenthal says that it probably will not happen, but i would have to guess that they would have to eat most of his contract if he was dealt. Though, it’s unlikely. Here is a link: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/01/indians-explored-moving-carmona-to-afford-hudson.html

Also, I don’t necessarily agree with the move because of Luis, and we need pitching. We would also be selling low on Fausto, and would get one or two low-A prospects back. (I would think)

Good Lord, what is going on?
I’m not necessarily opposed to trading Fausto sometime down the line. But why now? As much as the evidence is stacked against me, I don’t want to believe that 2007 was just a fluke. With a new coaching staff, and a new set of eyes, opinions, and methodology, I would wait and see if we can make Fausto’s success at the end of the ’09 season, and his success in the Winter League, translate to ’10 success. And, if we did trade Fausto, and also traded Westbrook at the All-Star break, who are we left with for 2011, or the rest of 2010 for that matter? We would need three of our “AAAA” guys to figure things out, at the least. And, given our 2008-2009 track record in that area, I am more than a little nervous about that.
And all this for what? A year or two of Orlando Hudson, excellent second baseman that he is, where he will be blocking two of our middle infield prospects, in a year we aren’t supposed to contend (and in fact, will probably be basement dwellers)?
Why?
I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be ********** for all of the 2010 season.
Now, where is that bourbon?

Pardon my French.

Easy on the bourbon, jk. There is no point in getting worked up over all of these rumors. The Indians (and Acta, in particular) have mentioned Fausto an awful lot, and they have too much invested in him (not financially, more-so the time and effort they have put in with him) to trade him and see him thrive in another organization. There is no way they don’t even give the new coaching staff a chance to work with Carmona and figure out some of his issues.

Well, I’m not legitimately worked up. If I were, it would be a rumor-that-broke-the-camel’s-back instance of being worked up. Nevertheless, the logic doesn’t make any sense.
Either Rosenthal is uninformed, or I need to become best friends with Mark Shapiro, so I can figure out what his plan is. Maybe he is just bored this offseason, and is randomly talking to players and agents for the sake of something to do.

Come on, Orlando Hudson? Didn’t he actually lose his job to Belliard last year? So sign a guy for $9 million when they could sign the guy who took his job for $825,000? Honestly it’s doubtful anyone would take Carmona anyway with his contract, but why in the world would the Indians even discuss Orlando Hudson, unless they’ve inexplicably soured on Valbuena? From an offense standpoint, Valbuena can certainly be better than Hudson, for $8.5 million less. I’d say that someone’s just messing with Rosenthal, probably Hudson’s agent is trying to pretend more teams are interested to drive up his price … AM, I’m curious why you wouldn’t have wanted Belliard? Grudz hasn’t played in the majors in 2 years, it’s doubtful he has anything left to contribute, while Belliard hit .350 the last 2 months of last season and has always hit very well against lefties. I suppose he might not be the best role model but the guy’s a good player and would almost certainly improve the team.

I see that on IPI Tony reported an Indians source said the Carmona rumor was bogus, and that he also figured the Hudson story was made up by his agent.

Thank you, ST, for that, because I was just as baffled as everyone else. In fact, I would guess the front office is probably just as baffled by those rumors.
AM, I wouldn’t be too concerned with Law’s rankings. I can’t recall a single instance when he’s been right — honestly, most writers who rank prospects seem to wrong more often than they’re right. Heck, I can remember Peter Gammons praising Chuck Lofgren just a few years ago and Keith Law is no Peter Gammons.
Let’s face facts: we’re in the dog days of the off season. Rumors and rankings that ultimately don’t mean anything are all we’re getting and probably all we will get until February — but hey, it’s not that far away!

Ah. Good ol’ IPI. That makes much more sense.

Yeah, it’s good to hear that all of it was bogus. none of it ever made any sense. I was starting to wonder!?!

Hey, Jose Veras signed with the Marlins! Who was the Veras fan on this blog? Someone held out hope for him, if I remember correctly.

ST, I said that I would prefer Redmond + Grudz (if he were to make the team) over Belliard + Toregas. As you said, Belliard really isn’t the best clubhouse guy for our younger guys. Simply stated, Redmond IS and his knowledge of the Central division should not be overlooked. Grudz is the consummate professional as well and short of resigning Jamey Carroll, but not at his pricetag, I am happy with him as a potential option.

While Belliard outplayed Hudson and took his place the final months of the season I think that you significantly overvalue those 2 months much in the same way of your harsh criticism of Victor Martinez who struggled for 2 months last season. BTW, did you see how Martinez finished the SEASON last year? His season numbers pretty much dwarf that small sample-size of subpar output.

While it always seems that you and I are at odds over small points at least it gives us good conversation. IF we were to contend next year, which I don’t think we will simply b/c too many IFs would have to go perfectly right, then PERHAPS Belliard MIGHT be a good option. At this stage in our “retooling” period I just don’t see him as an option. I wanted Hairston Jr as my utility guy, or even Mark Loretta. Not gonna happen but it’s just all talk nonetheless.

LACF, usually I would agree with you but Law was a respected member in Toronto’s scouting department so I typically view his info on prospects with a little more regard than others. Then again, if he was so darn good then why isn’t he still in someone’s scouting dept?

All I’m saying regarding Belliard’s finish to last season is he’s obviously still capable of putting up some very good numbers–he’s actually been a fairly consistent .280-.290 hitter every year. I get what you’re saying about the retooling period, but my feelings are that if you’re running a team you have to operate under the expectation that you will be competitive. The Indians biggest weakness on offense is likely to be against left handed pitching, since the production of Sizemore, Choo and last year Hafner all drops off significantly and Valbuena and Brantley are young guys who might struggle against lefties. So if you have an acknowledged need for a good right handed bat who’s preferably a second baseman, I don’t see how you pass up Belliard. For all I know they did have discussions with him and Belliard wasn’t interested, but I never heard anything. From a pure offense standpoint, I don’t know that there was a better 2nd baseman available and he cost basically nothing … Regarding Victor, I don’t want to criticize him too much, he’s a very good player, but I do think he’s a little overvalued. As I’ve said before his overall numbers are great as a catcher, so-so as a 1st baseman so I do think it was a good time to let him go and that Boston overpaid for him. And he was very inconsistent — I think 2007 was the only year he was solid all the way through. I know there was another year early on in his career where he hit like .200 in the 1st half and .400 in the 2nd half, similar to his performance last year. The recent Indians hitters have all tended to be extremely streaky — Peralta, Martinez, Sizemore, Garko, Shoppach–I’m glad that 3 of those 5 are gone (I’ll take Sizemore, Peralta hopefully can be coached. I hate how Peralta always says “I always start slow” like it’s a valid excuse in itself–work on fixing it dude! As soon as Jhonny starts uppercutting at those low and away breaking balls you know the guy’s going to hit .180 for the next 2 weeks minimum.) Unless Laporta, Marson and Brantley turn out to be of that same mold, I’d look for us to see more consistent offensive production as a team in 2010, the overall year-end numbers may not be better, but hopefully we’ll see less of the huge peaks and valleys. The recent Indians production as a team mirrored that of its leader Victor Martinez, best record in the league for half the year, sub-par the other half of the year.

Not for nothing, but if hitting left handers is going to be our problem, a utility infielder isn’t exactly going to fix that. It’s going to take a lot more than a single part time player.

Baseball Prospectus says we’re going 77-85 and coming in 4th. Paul Hoynes seems to think that’s optimistic, but I find taking him seriously to be difficult.
I’d go out on a limb and place us at .500 and giving the Tigers a run for their money for 3rd, but that’s just me.

Honestly, 77-85 sounds pretty close to what I had been thinking. What we had last season, 65-97, will be a “bad season”, while I think .500 is really a best case scenario. The difference between 2008’s .500 season, and 2009’s .401 season was 16 games. In 2008, we had Cliff Lee’s 22 win Cy Young season. In 2009, we definitely did not. To me, that was what made the difference. Also in 2009, we lacked offense with half a season of Grady, Victor, DeRosa, etc.
I think we will make ground on the offensive side. 1) I think Hafner will have a season somewhat similar to 2007. I think he will do about .275/25 HR/90 RBI. That’s my guess. 2) I think Grady will have a “comeback” year and have another 30/30 season. 3) I think Choo and Cabrera will have years similar to last year. I’m not sold on the idea that they backtrack a bit. I’ve heard that from a few sources. 4) I think I’m willing to role the dice and say Peralta is due for a good season. I think what we saw last year was a mixture of changing positions and conflict with Wedge. 5) I think we’ll start to see some good numbers from LaPorta. 6) I think we have plenty of unknown “wild cards”: Brantley, Marte, Santana, etc. Brantley could make the team out of Spring Training, and be consistent. Marte could show consistently on the big league level. Santana could be productive on the big league level, if he makes it this year. But, I’m not necessarily relying on any of them to do so.
Regarding pitching, we have obviously regressed. We have a lot of “question marks”, like we did at the beginning of 2009. However, not included in those 2009 question marks were Cliff Lee, and to a lesser extent, Fausto. I think we were assuming that Fausto, recovered from his injury problems, would be solid. So, really only our 3-5 starters were question marks (I know some people questioned Lee and Fausto, but I think deep down, we were expecting good years from each). However, this year, 1-5 are question marks.
However, I don’t think things will be quite as bad as we think. With the amount of “AAAA” pitchers we have between Cleveland and Columbus, some very highly regarded, I think one or two are bound to step up. Also, opening day isn’t here yet. We still might sign another Pavano-esque starter. Given my assumption that one or two of our guys might step up, and given my view of our offense, I don’t see why 77-85 couldn’t be the median in my range of possibilities this season.

This may be a little too positive. I might be expecting too much from Hafner and Grady. But, being overly optimistic has always been my problem.
(Also, I think it’s funny that a losing season at 77-85 is “optimistic” and “hopefully not out of the question”.)

Terry Pluto mentioned that the Tribe is considering inviting Russell Branyan to camp if he doesn’t land a deal elsewhere. That would be pretty entertaining.
I think we SHOULD be optimistic about Hafner, because what other choice do we have? And, for what it’s worth, if you project his numbers from last year over an entire season (and I’m using Choo’s total ABs, as he led the team in plate appearances), Hafner would come out with 83 RBI and 28 HR. That’s more homers than ’07, but fewer RBI. He would have tied Peralta for 2nd in RBI last year.
So, yeah, we better get something close to that or better or we need to consider our other options.

Hoynes doesn’t seem to have a very good understanding of what makes baseball teams successful. I just read one of his articles and he talks about how all the other teams in the Central have “improved”: Minnesota by adding Jim Thome, Carl Pavano and Clay Condrey, KC with Jason Kendall and Rick Ankiel, and the Tigers signing Jose Valverde and Brad Thomas (he didn’t mention trading away Granderson), and of course the White Sox with their “old guys who’re lucky to hit .200″ (I was really hoping the White Sox would sign Thome, it really seemed they were trying to make their offense as awful as possible so I don’t get why they passed him up) There isn’t a single position player out of the free agent signing that Hoynes names that I’d even consider taking over who the Indians already have. With Kotsay, Vizquel, Jones, Teahan, Pierre the White Sox managed to assemble 5 players who might combine for a sub .600 OPS. Kendall is one catcher who Marson might actually hit better than. Ankiel and Podsednik might be legitimate upgrades for KC but certainly wouldn’t upgrade the Indians outfield. I would see 77-85 as reasonable as well though I wouldn’t be surprised by anything from 100 losses to 90 wins. With the weakness of the Central I’d guess that the Indians can manage to win 70-80 unless they suffer some more major injuries … (Sizemore, Choo, Cabrera, Westbrook) I mean if you think about it this team went 40-28 in the 2nd half of ’08 without Hafner, Martinez, Westbrook, Carmona or Sabathia, the only major player they’ve lost from that time period is Lee, and they hopefully have Hafner, Westbrook and Carmona back from injury.

That’s why it’s always difficult to make predictions regarding the Indians, the AL Central, and I suppose baseball in general. The 40-28 you mentioned, when we were missing most of our key players, as well as being out of the race, goes to show you how, um, unexpected things can happen. What Cliff Lee did in 2008 was far from what anyone expected, especially given his problems in 2007. What Shoppach did in 2008 was pretty unexpected, as well. For the inevitable negative unexpected variables, there are usually the occasional positives as well. I think it’s likely we’ll have one or two additional players emerge this year, like Choo or Cabrera did last year. Maybe Masterson, with the offseason to prepare, will become fully acclimated to starting and surprise everyone with a stellar season. With the amount of unknowns we have, I think both positives and negatives are bound to happen. But, it will be a good time to determine which prospects are legit, and those that aren’t. Or, those who are the stars, and those who are the 4th outfielders, utility infielders and back-end-of-the-rotation guys.

I see Garko has signed an incentive-based 1 year deal with the Mariners. Good luck to ‘em.

With Lee, Garko and Gutierrez, I think I have a new favorite second favorite team. Of course Seattle has so graciously provided us with Choo, Cabrerra and Valbuena (the first two of course for players who don’t even play anymore) so I already liked Seattle just for being so nice to the Indians when it came to trades.

The hudson rumors have returned:
http://twitter.com/washingnats/statuses/8506026023

You know, I always see that rumor yet I never see anyone posting the articles that REFUTE that rumor. I mean, talk about selective reporting.
And while it would be ridiculous for the Tribe to sign him, I’ll say this much: he’d be great in the clubhouse. He’s got an awful lot of energy and he’s extremely outgoing — not qualities a lot of guys on this team have. We have a lot of “lead by example” guys and not many cheerleaders, if any, really. Can anyone think of a guy who’s going to be as vocal as Victor or C.C. were?

Good points, but “Cheerleading” only goes so far, but as fans we MAY not see a lot of what goes on behind closed doors or in the dugout when the camera isn’t looking. other than IPI i have not seen anyone refute the rumor. It just doesn’t make sense, and it’s hard to believe that they would send Luis down in the beginning of the season when he played 103 games last season. he showed a lot of potential and improvement toward the end of the season, for what it is worth. I think signing Hudson would be counterproductive.

That’s what I’m saying — no one is mentioning IPI when they mention these rumors.
And having at least one vocal player goes a long way. I don’t think it’s coincidence that the team with C.C. and Victor went as far as it did in ’07. And, given how upset the team and fans were when Victor was traded, I think a guy like that is pretty important.
That said, I’m not saying we don’t have a guy like that. In fact, if he starts performing well on a regular basis, I think Valbuena has it in him. I can’t help but think about that run in with the catcher last year (I can’t remember which team it was). He’s clearly got some fire.

Okay valid points. I remember the play your talking about with Luis running over the catcher. He cut his chin on that particular play.

From the DiaTribe:

“Suddenly, are we seeing the next wave of how small-to-mid-market teams catch up with some of the teams with deeper pockets in terms of player acquisition WHILE avoiding committing signing bonus money in the draft? That is to say, if the A?s signed Sheets with the idea that they can flip him for prospects to a contender (assuming he?s healthy) at the middle of the season and the A?s are out of the race, the A?s are able to choose from a list of prospects (from multiple suitors) who have a track record in MiLB, with their signing bonuses already paid, at levels much closer to MLB than those available in the Amateur Draft. The A?s pay half of a season of Sheets? 2010 salary to essentially acquire prospects that are more advanced than players available in the draft and gain control of those prospects for six MLB seasons with half of those seasons coming at the MLB minimum.

Is that what?s to be made of the Orlando Hudson-to-Cleveland rumors?which make zero sense otherwise with a 24-year-old Valbuena still adjusting to MLB, not to mention in the context of selling lower than low on Carmona that Rosenthal intimates?
Would the Indians sign a guy like Hudson with the idea that they think that his trade value by the middle of the season would net them more prospects to plug into the pipeline with the idea that quantity AND quality is preferable to just the latter?”

In this light, the Hudson rumors make more sense. And it also makes sense why the rumors really aren’t going away. If we keep in mind that it would only be a half season of Hudson, Valbuena would still get the starts in the second half, and reasonably still in the first half, by semi-platooning with Hudson, or giving Cabrera a rest, etc. Essentially, we’d be paying a couple million for a half season of Hudson, for one or two prospects hopefully at least halfway through a farm system. In regards to development, signing bonuses, risk of prospects not panning out due to injury ineffectiveness, etc., it makes wonderful sense to me. I think the Tribe brass still see Valbuena needing to be protected against LHP anyway, so he wouldn’t likely start every game if Hudson weren’t here anyway.

You know what cracks me up about the Hudson rumors? Originally, it was “Tribe trying to trade Carmona to free up money to sign Hudson.” But now that’s been dropped. So evidently, the Indians found some money somewhere that we weren’t aware of.
Or it’s entirely bogus.

I think it’s entirely bogus, because it’s be reported that he doesn’t want to play for a discount, and i doubt he will for the Tribe. I noticed the same thing, but they would have to eat most of the contract anyway, so it’s not worth it. Plus, his trade value is at a all time low. Orlando is probably using the Indians to drive the price up?

jk, that does make some sense, but supposedly Hudson wants $9 million. So it wouldn’t be a couple million, it would be at least $4.5 million which would be a significant amount of $ for the Indians. I’d certainly prefer that they save as much money on payroll this year so they have some money to spend next year when we’ll almost certainly need a decent free agent pitcher if they’re serious about contending. Hudson would likely be an upgrade over Valbuena for 2010, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad 1-year signing and I suppose it’s not totally out of the question that they did have discussions with him. A lot of fans, and writers like Hoynes, seem to be upset that the Indians didn’t sign anyone of note. They could see a Hudson signing as an opportunity to appease these fans and generate some additional ticket sales which would partially make up for the cost of his contract, with the idea that they can move him midseason if they’re not competing. It’s not a bad idea, if they could get him for around $6 million … Still, they could have had Cliff Lee for $9 million with the same logic–trade him at midseason if they don’t compete–and they passed and traded him last year to save $4.5 million. Unless the Indians came into some money in the past 6 months, to reverse course so quickly wouldn’t make much sense.

if you’re talking about signing a FA simply to flip them in a trade then I still maintain that perhaps Erik Bedard is a better, cheaper, more useful option than Hudson.

From ESPN (Law) on Hudson: “Hudson has become quite overrated with the glove; he’s good on popups but isn’t anything special on ground balls, although he’s flashy and plays with energy, making it appear as if he’s a better fielder than he actually is. One disturbing trend: Hudson became a pretty severe ground-ball hitter this year, and although he was never a big power hitter, he posted his worst isolated power rate since 2003. It could be an early sign of an overall decline at the plate.”

I will agree with you AM, about Hudson’s stock going down, and he not being the best sort of player to swap. Which is why, savage, that I don’t think he’ll get a $9 million contract. Regarding Bedard, I still think he is pretty high risk, and may not be the best sort of guy to pick up with only flipping in mind. I have no problem to signing him to a low-risk, incentive laden contract. If he is successful, we could trade him. If not, no harm done.

Evidently, scouts are saying they’re not sure when Bedard will even be able to pitch, so picking him up to possibly flip him looks like a bad idea, given he might not even be able to start pitching before well into the season.

It was good to read AC’s perspective on the Hudson nonsense. Not to sound like a homer but I agree with him 100%, especially the idea that Hudson’s people are probably creating a Scott Boras-like interest where it’s not. The two teams that have been mentioned with Hudson are the Twins and Mets. If I’m Minnesota I’d lock up Mauer first before I pay $9M for Hudson. And the Mets have their own problems of signing him without moving or eating Luis Castillo’s contract. Talk about a Mo Vaughn-esque blunder.

LACF, I finally saw the Bedard thing where he’s scheduled to be out until mid-2010 so thanks for the heads up. Guess that ruins my idea. With Bedard out of the mix I really don’t see anyone worth signing with the intention of flipping in a mid-season trade ala Ben Sheets in Oakland. Hudson wouldn’t get a high ceiling prospect at the deadline IMO whereas Sheets or JJ Putz would if they performed well.

I am a little surprised that Shapiro didn’t try to sign Joe Nelson again considering he only signed for a minor league deal. He was high on Nelson last year.

and I purposely omitted the Nationals b/c I can’t seem him going there for less money

At last, our long, national nightmare is over: Orlando Hudson signed with the Twins.
I do find it strange — if AC’s suggestion is accurate — that any agent would think to use the TRIBE as a way to drum up interest in their client, given that the Indians have no money. I mean, is “hey, that team that came in last place last year and has no money to spend really wants him” actually going to convince other teams to add more money to an offer?

Kewl you should come up with that. Exleclnet!

What’s the point of going to college? Time is running out.I doubt itHis boss might get angry with him.No one knows .I like your sense of humorI like your sense of humorHe reminds me of his brother.There go the house lights.Were there any exciting incidents during your journey?

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