Blog Entry

Cleveland Indians gave up on 2010

Posted on: September 9, 2009 5:21 pm
 
So to be clear the Indians were done for in 2009 so some sort of a fire sale made sense.

Mark DeRosa was an obvious move since the Indians didn't need to keep paying him his $5.5M when they were clearly out of the race.  Plus Andy Marte was looking pretty good in AAA and it was about time to give him another shot.

Victor Martinez doesn't make sense to me.  Not because they don't have backup options for the catcher role but because they got nothing in return.  Yes they have Carlos Santana and they had just acquired Lou Marson from Philly.  Santana doesn't project to remain at catcher and Marson, well he has a long way to go before his bat and glove a fully major league ready.  De-facto Shoppach takes the helm which after his breakout year in 2008 I felt he deserved a better shake anyways.

This still doesn't negate the fact they got nothing in return.  Justin Masterson is nothing more than a 5th man in the rotation or most likely a middle relief expert.  Nick Hagadone is interesting but he's still pitching low A ball and a should be a while before he sees big league pitching.

Cliff Lee was a case of selling low in a market where you should have been able to sell high.  The Indians rushed to sell to Philly before the Phillies bought Halladay from the Jays.  The loot in return for a Cy Young pitcher was a so-so pitcher in Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco who's stock has plummeted with a poor season this year, and Lou Marson an average catcher.

Cleveland had the offensive ability to be competitive in 2010 but they lacked the pitching.  Neither of these deals solve this problem for 2010 and actually make their rotation even worse. 

If I were an Indian fan I would hold off on buying season tickets unless they sign some superstar pitchers in the off-season. 

3-9 6.08 ERA Fausto Carmona, 4-7 4.40 ERA Justin Masterson, 9-7 6.23 ERA David Huff, 7-5 3.79 ERA Aaron Laffey, and 0-1 12.38 ERA Carlos Carrasco are not the optimal starting rotation.

At least Indian fans can be happy the team finally has some room for Laporta!
Comments

Since: Aug 28, 2008
Posted on: September 14, 2009 1:50 pm
 

Cleveland Indians gave up on 2010

Thanks to MLBTraderumors.com for this:

By Tim Dierkes [September 14, 2009 at 12:28pm CST]

Next up in our , the Indians.  Their commitments for 2010:

C - Kelly Shoppach - $1.95MM+
C - Lou Marson - $400K
1B - Matt LaPorta - $400K
2B - Luis Valbuena - $400K
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera - $417K
3B - Jhonny Peralta - $4.6MM
1B/3B - Andy Marte - $400K
IF - Jason Donald - $400K
LF - Michael Brantley - $400K
CF - Grady Sizemore - $5.6MM
RF - Shin-Soo Choo - $420K
OF - Trevor Crowe - $400K
DH - Travis Hafner - $11.5MM

Other considerations: C - Wyatt Toregas - $400K, IF/OF - Chris Gimenez - $400K

SP - Jake Westbrook - $11MM
SP - Fausto Carmona - $4.9MM
SP - Justin Masterson - $416K
SP - Aaron Laffey - $409K
SP - David Huff - $400K

Other rotation candidates: Jeremy Sowers - $421K, Carlos Carrasco - $400K, Hector Rondon - $400K

RP - Kerry Wood - $10.5MM
RP - Chris Perez - $402K
RP - Rafael Perez - $437K+
RP - Tony Sipp - $400K
RP - Joe Smith - $428K
RP - Jensen Lewis - $419K
RP - Jess Todd/Adam Miller/Failed starter - $400K

Non-tender candidates: Shoppach

The Indians entered 2009 with an $81.6MM payroll, .  For 2010 they have about $58MM committed, plus arbitration raises to Shoppach and Perez.  The Tribe could potentially spend around $20MM on new players without increasing the payroll, thanks to their veteran fire sale this year.

However, if fielding the best possible team in 2010 was the goal, the Indians wouldn't have traded Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez .  It would be inconsistent to sign free agents in an attempt to win the division next year.  The Indians should shop Shoppach, and non-tender him if they find no takers.  Moving Peralta's $4.85MM would be helpful.  Ditto for Wood's $10.5MM (assuming his 2011 option does not vest).  Westbrook and Hafner will hopefully build up value prior to summer 2010 trades.

Trading Sizemore does not make sense.  His value is at a low point, and he can be under control through 2012.  Even if the Indians concede 2010, Sizemore would be essential to winning the following two years.

Having shed Lee and Martinez, the Indians will no longer be the popular sleeper pick heading into 2010.  The trades brought in much-needed young pitching, but next year's rotation does not resemble that of a contender.





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