Wright signed to Minor League deal

Here’s another candidate for the bullpen: right-hander Jamey Wright.

The Indians signed the 35-year-old Wright to a Minor League contract with an invitation to camp. That’s now four veteran relievers brought in through Minors contracts, as Wright joins Jason Grilli, Saul Rivera and left-hander Mike Gosling.

Wright has pitched for six teams over the last 14 seasons, compiling an 82-115 record and 5.03 ERA in 420 games, including 246 starts. He went 3-5 with a 4.33 ERA for the Royals last year, leading the team with 65 appearances out of the bullpen. He logged a career-high 75 appearances for the Rangers in ’08.

The Indians now have 19 non-roster invitees coming to camp. Pitchers and catchers report in 12 days.


Please…. please, no.

Please, please, no.

Kind of underscores my point about the big unknown that is our bullpen. They’re just throwing guys against the wall to see if they stick.

I especially like the video provided on the main article. Juuust a bit outside!

Hey, the more the merrier. I would rather they sign a few more potential bullpen guys than any more infielders.

someone previously mentioned bringing in Marcus Thames as an option… well, he just signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. Too many free agents, not enough roster spots to go around is right. This free agency is downright ridiculous. How many days until pitchers and catchers report and the number of unsigned players is outrageous.

Evidently, we’re interested in Jermaine Dye and/or Hank Blalock. To those rumors, I say thee “whatever.”
Honestly, I’m ready for baseball to start, if only for these stupid rumors to end. And I hope Luis Valbuena has been reading all of the off season rumors and is prepped to blow people away.

Couldn’t agree more, LACF. My patience for the rumor mill has grown thin, and I am ready for spring training. If I am Acta, I use spring training as a platform to test Valbuena against lefties. Granted it is only spring training, but it may turn out that Valbuena can hold his own against lefties. The guy only had 39 AB’s against lefties last year, and posted an OPS of .661. That’s not a far cry from his OPS against right handers, 719.
I for one think it’s worth seeing what he has got out there. No harm in trying, right? This is definitely the year to experiment with it.

I had heard they were watching the market for Dye, didn’t know about Blalock. It just furthers the notion that as AC has previously mentioned, there are too many serviceable free agents and not enough roster spots. Hence, all the minor league deals with invitations to spring training. This year we should just let it all hang out and throw the kids into the fire. Dye is strictly a DH now. His knees are shot and his defense is nonexistent. He’s not our future and neither is Blalock.

I find Blalock’s career stats to be pretty interesting, let alone the fact that he’s spent so much time at 3B (although not recently). Does anyone know what was wrong with him last year? His numbers dropped pretty dramatically last season, but before that he had some decent years.

I don’t think Blalock would do well out of Texas. Career .714 road OPS, even in years he did very well his road numbers were bad. If he can play 1b, I actually think Dye might be worth a shot. In the 1st half last year he had a .942 OPS. After that he fell off a cliff, but perhaps the offseason rest has done him well. It would be good to have a right handed bat to work in at DH to give Hafner a rest. A Hafner/Dye DH platoon could produce some quality numbers. Dye put up an .894 OPS last year against LHP, Hafner had an .866 OPS against RHP … I’m not sure if they’d have room for him though. Unless they went with 14 position players, I imagine Dye (or Blalock) would preclude Marte, and I’m not sure I’d want to see that.

The idea of a Dye/Hafner Dh tandem is somewhat intriguing, but I am not in favor of it. My mindset on this season is that we are using it to get better for the next few years after this one. I just don’t see the point in signing someone who would only help us for one year. If Dye’s numbers dropped off at the end of last year, and he is getting up there in age and number of knee treatments, then it would only get worse in time. I am still in favor of giving some in-house candidates more of a look instead of bringing in a player who is nearing the end of his career. I just don’t think the reward outweighs the risk of money and injury.

I would think that this is a good move if they had more young guys in the bullpen, but it seems like it’s just a group of old guys right now. Not saying that the main bullpen is all old, just that if they had a nucleus of young guys then maybe Wright could be a veteran leader and help to mold the young guys into a formidable unit.

Evidently, Dye turned down $3M from the Cubs, so I don’t see that happening.
I think we’ve got plenty of young guys in our bullpen mix, given that even R. Perez isn’t that old, then add in C. Perez, Todd, and Sipp, let alone any of the AAAA All-Stars (Lewis and Sowers). It will be interesting to watch it unfold.

I’m not going to prejudge the choice of Acta as manager, but just thought I’d throw this out there, which came to mind when thinking about some of the non-Orlando Hudson 2nd basemen who were/are available, namely Belliard and Felipe Lopez. It’s a little concerning that both of those guys played terribly at Washington, then left and immediately started hitting like Hall of Famers. Lopez hit .281 with Washington in 2006, the year before Acta started, and then hit .245 and .234 the next 2 years. Then he leaves Washington and hits .385 for the rest of 2008 and .310 last year. Belliard had 2 decent years in Washington, then was awful last year until he was traded, his 2009 numbers were very similar to Lopez’s 2008. Interestingly, both of these guys had better years than Hudson last year and were available for less than $5 million and the Indians pursued neither. If not for the Washington connection, it seemingly would’ve made more sense to go after Lopez than Hudson. The knock on Acta at Washington was that he was too easygoing and didn’t properly motivate the players. Interesting to see if he’s able to keep the Indians players motivated, especially if they have a rough start. With a lot of young guys still trying to prove themselves and Sizemore, I’d hope this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Peralta’s performance may be the best barometer of whether Acta did indeed learn anything from his missteps in Washington, although like I said I think Peralta’s contract situation should keep him well motivated this year

AC said the reason the Indians stayed away from Lopez was b/c of his sieve-like defense. I find that interesting only b/c Hudson’s defense, according to those in the know has been deteriorating for years. Hudson’s range is suspect, routine plays are made with unnecessary flashiness (ala Derek Jeter) and his smoking mirrors quality defense is overrated by fans.

ST, do yourself a favor and check out “readbetweenthevines” blog to which he posted a link above. I went on there and posted a response to one of his stories inquiring about the Mark DeRosa trade, specifically the prospects they got in return and how Cubs fans view them in general. He responded to my post and then submitted a new story about said prospects. As a fan of Stevens, Archer and Gaub (particularly) you may find what he has to say to be rather interesting.

ESPN is reporting the Lopez fired Scott Boras b/c he’s still without a team

Yeah I’m pretty sure I read elsewhere that Lopez was just as good or better than Hudson defensively. Looking at their fielding stats it’s hard to say, Lopez’s vary quite a bit year to year, it looks like last year at least Lopez’s numbers were significantly better than Hudson’s, while his 2008 numbers were bad. Hudson’s weren’t anything special either though.
I do find it fascinating that the Cubs fans, and really baseball people in general, love Mark Derosa so much. I don’t think he’s necessarily a bad player, but at the positions he plays guys like him are a dime a dozen. At 2b Derosa probably makes more of an impact from an offensive standpoint, but he’s something of a defensive liability at any position. I obviously view both trades for Derosa as asinine from the point of view of the teams acquiring him. Perhaps as an Indians fan I place more value on bullpen arms than normal, since lately we routinely have an awful bullpen with few potential bullpen prospects. In the case of the original Indians trade, I’m not sure of the official prospect rankings at the time but I’d have to think the Indians gave their top 2 bullpen prospects for Derosa (the only other bullpen prospects of note they had were Sipp and Meloan). It might’ve been the kind of trade that was bad for both trading parties, the Cubs didn’t have an immediate need for bullpen prospects and could’ve used Derosa more, while the Indians needed bullpen arms and were probably better off from an offense/defense standpoint without Derosa.

readbetweenthevines makes the argument that the Cubs dealt DeRosa to Cleveland so they could acquire young pitchers deemed necessary to flip them to San Diego for Jake Peavy but I see your point(s)

Don’t forget, ST, that when the 2008 season ended, Jensen Lewis had saved something like 12 straight games. R. Perez was still pitching well, too. We also still had a productive Betancourt, and Adam Miller was on track to enter spring training for ’09 healthy. And then we went and signed Kerry Wood. That’s a pretty good nucleus of a long term bullpen, or at least it was on paper.
In the end, though, it appears that Chris Perez is going to be a better reliever than any of the three we gave up, and the jury is still out Jess Todd — and both of them appear like they will be pitching at the major league level sooner Graub or Archer.
Dealing the young arms doesn’t bother me nearly as much as WHY they did it, which was to delay moving Jhonny to third when everyone knew that’s where he belonged.

I remember that well LACF, I was never as high on last year’s bullpen as others were. Depth was an obvious problem, to think every one of the guys you pencil in for opening day is going to be successful and healthy for an entire year is awfully optimistic. And Betancourt was actually awful in 2008, as was Kobayashi. So when 1/3 of your bullpen is guys who were awful the year before, another 1/3 is Lewis and Perez who were sketchy in 2008, and your internal relief pitching depth consists entirely of Jon Meloan, I don’t get dealing your best/only upper level relief prospect for an infielder without a position. I’m much higher on the bullpen in the current form. It’s interesting how perceptions shift, really Sipp and when he was healthy Joe Smith were more successful than Lewis and Perez were in 2008, and C Perez was better than Betancourt, and we still have R Perez and Lewis and aren’t depending on Kobayashi, but this year’s bullpen is considered a bigger question mark than last year’s. … It’s too early to say who is going to the best reliever out of those guys. Gaub probably has the best numbers of any of them at the levels he’s been at, though Perez’s were comparable. I don’t particularly care, it’s just the luck of the draw at this point, getting Perez and Todd was as good a move as giving up the other guys was a bad move

This year’s bullpen is a much bigger question mark. You can say that Lewis and R. Perez had shakey years in ’08, but compare that to how they did LAST year — it doesn’t even come close. Wood was coming off a good year as a closer, so it made sense to expect him to have a good year coming into 2009. And as you mentioned, there was every reason to believe a healthy Joe Smith would produce good results for us. But do we have reason to trust ANY of the guys making up our possible bullpen going into this season? As much as I like Sipp, he’s still young and unproven. We have no idea what to expect from Wood and R. Perez is nearly as baffling as Carmona. I’m high on C. Perez as much as the next guy, but I was also high on Jensen Lewis after 12 straight saves at the end of ’08, too. I mean, aside from C. Perez, there wasn’t a whole lot of momentum coming from that bullpen at the end of the season and we’ve made no splashy signing to bolster it like we did last year. So I would say that there’s far more reason to doubt this batch of guys than the one from last year, although I obviously hope they step up.

I don’t think Sipp’s much more young and unproven now than Lewis and R Perez were at the beginning of last year. Rafael Perez had a September 2008 that was very similar to his April 2009. Jensen Lewis certainly struggled a lot more in 2008 than Sipp did in 2009. You’re right about Wood, he’s the one piece that I’d say going into last year I had confidence in, and I don’t now. I personally am guessing he’ll bounce back. And while I was always a little leery of R Perez after the end of 2007 when he couldn’t get anyone out for the last week of the year or the playoffs, I’d agree there was no reason to think he’d be the complete disaster he was last year. As for whether he’s successful in 2010 though, I say, who cares? If he’s Rafael 2007, awesome, but if not, they have options that can at least equal Rafael 2008 … Comparing the guys we had last year to the ones we’ll have this year, you have Wood comparing unfavorably to 2008 Wood, but C Perez compares favorably to Betancourt, Sipp compares favorably to R Perez, Joe Smith compares favorably to himself, Jamey Wright or whoever in place of Jensen Lewis is pretty much a wash, and Rafael Perez in place of Kobayashi, those 2 are/were equally question marks, but Perez certainly has much more potential than Kobayashi. (Am I forgetting someone or did we open last year with 6 relievers?) Objectively, those 6 from last year and 6 from this year are pretty much equal. Looking at depth, last year AAA depth was Vinnie Chulk and Jon Meloan. This year, Todd, Judy, Sowers (though I read he’s having some trouble with his shoulder), Talbot, Jensen Lewis, Wright, Herrmann
Wood 4.25 ERA Wood 3.26 ERA
C Perez 4.32 ERA R Betancourt 5.07 ERA
T Sipp 2.93 ERA R Perez 3.54 ERA
J Smith 3.44 ERA Joe Smith 3.55 ERA
J Wright 4.33 ERA Jensen Lewis 3.82 ERA
R Perez 7.31 ERA Kobayashi 4.53 ERA (10.32 in 2nd half)

ST, I can’t think of any other way to say this, but you crack me up. You kind of picked and chose your comparisons there, not comparing R. Perez to himself, putting Kobayashi in there who rarely pitched towards the end of the year, and putting Jaimy Wright in there who hasn’t pitched for us yet — and might not even make the bullpen, for all we know. Not to mention the fact that Wood’s ERA doesn’t really matter, given that he’s the closer. He appeared in only 7 more games for the Cubs in ’08 yet had 14 more saves. He gave up twice as many HRs, walked 10 more guys, and had 21 fewer K’s — in 7 fewer appearances! Not exactly the confidence inducing numbers.

Anyone else see that LaPorta got cleared for full physical activities? It would at least seem like something’s going our way.

so Victor Martinez wants to sign a long-term deal with Boston, our ML roster has the potential of containing 7 players without options in a year in which we are “reloading,” Paul Hoynes is already talking about the Indians trading Grady Sizemore “sometime in 2011 or in his club option year of 2012” and last time I checked if was only February 16th of 2010. I pine for the day in which our glass is half full rather than nearly empty.

I’d say those are the accurate comparisons for where they are in the bullpen this year vs. last year. Rafael Perez isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, a setup guy at the start of the year, and Sipp and C Perez are, so R Perez’s position in the bullpen at the start of 2010 is most directly comparable to Kobayashi’s, and C Perez and Sipp should be in the setup positions occupied by Betancourt and Rafael last year. And I said Wood compares unfavorably to his former self. I agree Wood was awful last year, and that was unexpected. There’s certainly reason to have some faith that he’ll turn it around this year, he still throws hard, he’s still the same guy who had success as a closer. And put Jamey Wright or whoever in the 6th and the 7th spots, and I have a hard time seeing how this bullpen is more questionable than last year’s.

LACF, where was it reported that LaPorta was cleared for full physical activity? I was actually expecting that he was. The last report I heard a month or two ago seemed to be very positive. However, if it was recently reported, I’ve missed it.

Scratch that. I found it.

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